Jersey City’s Exchange Place Alliance calls for special improvement district

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A large support group for the Jersey City Exchange Place Alliance vocalized the need for a Special Improvement District in their neighborhood during yesterday’s city council meeting.

Residents and business owners came together to try and persuade the council to vote yes on an ordinance that would allow private maintenance of the Exchange Place waterfront.

“The activation of the waterfront will benefit not only the residents but the support of the new SID for the development of Peninsula Park which is an important green space in the neighborhood is hugely important to the land,” stated Andy Siegel, the vice president of the Historic Paulus Hook Association.

Sam Pesin, the president of the Friends of Liberty State Park, spoke on the issue of the alliance stating, “My main interest is that this will enhance our open space and the more urban open space we have for the quality of life the better.”

Michael DeMarco, the president of Mack-Cali Realty Corporation and organizer of the Exchange Place Alliance, said Exchange Place is often forgotten about in the city’s plans.

“The whole idea of the SID is that Exchange Place is kind of forgotten land; if it snows and Port Authority doesn’t get around to plowing or shoveling people come out and trip and fall,” DeMarco continued.

“The walk ways are overly crowded, there’s no sense of crowd control and as a colleague pointed out a very high degree of littering which is not kept up or maintained.”

The council voted unanimously (9-0) on the ordinance, on the condition that the alliance and majority property owners, Colgate Palmolive, come to an agreement on maintenance responsibilities.