|04/30/2010 - JCRA Receives $2.3 Million Federal Grant for Canal Crossings|
The Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA) has been awarded a $2.3 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)/U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Sustainable Community Challenge/TIGER II Planning Grant. The grant represents the only award in New Jersey and is one of the largest in the country. HUD’s Sustainable Community Challenge grants are intended to foster reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital, and sustainable communities.
“I’m thrilled and proud of this Agency’s ability to enter into an enormously competitive national competition and to come out on top. You can’t be of the mindset of having this economy deter your efforts of getting work done that needs to be done. These days, if you do not have enough money to do a project, you need to be creative and make the extra effort to find it,” stated Robert Antonicello, executive director of the JCRA.
Canal Crossing is a 111-acre Redevelopment Area in Jersey City, bounded by the NJ Turnpike Extension to the east, Garfield Avenue to the west, and the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to the north. The area is surrounded by a residential population of predominately minority households with high unemployment and high poverty rates. Revitalization of this area is hampered by antiquated storm and sanitary sewers and water mains, large tracts of contaminated industrial brownfields; an insufficient street grid, and a lack of open space amenities. However, Canal Crossing offers tremendous in that it is located in the midst of a thriving urban area and also represents an opportunity for local stakeholders to transform an entire neighborhood into a livable and sustainable community.
In an unprecedented collaboration between two federal agencies, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today jointly awarded nearly $68 million to help stimulate a new generation of sustainable and livable communities that connect housing, employment and economic development with transportation and other infrastructure improvements. The joint HUD-DOT funding will support 62 local and regional partnerships seeking to create a more holistic and integrated approach to connecting affordable housing, job opportunities and transportation corridors.
HUD’s Sustainable Communities Challenge Grants will foster reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities. These
funds will be used by communities, large and small, to address local challenges to integrating transportation and housing. When these activities are done in conjunction with transportation projects, they can greatly increase the efficiency and access of local transportation while encouraging mixed-use or transit-oriented development. Such efforts may include amending or updating local master plans, zoning codes, and building codes to support private sector investment in mixed-use development, affordable housing and the re-use of older buildings. Other local efforts may include retrofitting main streets to provide safer routes for children and seniors, or preserving affordable housing and local businesses near new transit stations.
TIGER II Planning Grants will prepare or design surface transportation projects that would be eligible for funding under the TIGER II Discretionary Grant Program. These projects include highways, bridges, transit, railways, ports or bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
Antonicello noted "it is important to give a big "hats off" to Ben Delisle, Director of Development at JCRA, for his commitment to Canal Crossings and this process as well as Hampshire Urban Renewal Redevelopment, LLC for their steadfast support of the Agency’s initiative at Canal Crossings and finally Brownfield Redevelopment Solutions, Inc. our grant consultants for the application. We would also like to thank other project partners, including the City of Jersey City Divisions of Planning and City Engineering and the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority."
For more information please contact the JCRA’s Executive Director, Robert P. Antonicello at 201-547-5810.