With urban renewal projects on the docket around the country, examples underway in Newark, New Jersey, illuminate future possibilities.
Building Community: One Project At a Time
Residents, businesses and leaders are busy building in the communities around Newark’s strengthened downtown area. Fifteen miles from New York City, New Jersey’s largest city—and an important transit hub—has had a 40% drop in crime between 2015 and 2020. Now, as The New York Times reports, “Side streets are alive with forklifts and hard hats.”
Over the past ten years, Newark’s downtown commercial area has gotten a boost from a Nike factory store, Whole Foods—and the headquarters for Amazon’s podcast service-Audible. A $100 million expansion of Beth Israel Medical Center is now underway. So too, however, are a variety of smaller projects, as leaders and residents work together toward vibrant, sustainable communities—and the prevention of gentrification.
A variety of policies and initiatives are paving the way. Examples include:
- An ordinance that requires most housing builders to set aside 20 percent of the units as affordable, with Newark residents given priority.
- Monthly meetings initiated by the major which have engaged residents in everything from preventing crime to incubating new businesses. Participating residents have received guidance from city officials and established developers about purchasing property, understanding zoning laws and bidding for contracts.
Results are starting to be tangible—even in the midst of the new challenges created by the pandemic. As The New York Times reports:
In the last five years, more than 3,500 units of affordable housing have also been built or are underway, much of it outside downtown, city records show. Newark sold almost double the number of abandoned parcels at auction in 2020 as it did in 2019, and the average price of land — none of it downtown — was about 30 percent higher.
“You take it one property at a time, one parcel at a time,” said Mr. Morris, 38, who has continued to build throughout the pandemic. “That’s the only way to rebuild a community.”
Partnership Can Help
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Contractors who pre-qualify for a surety line of credit, go on to upload a few more documents that help Colonial better understand their operation and underwrite the Partnership Account®.
Makerhoods Are Coming: Newark’s Set for 2021
Another innovative building effort set for completion this year in Newark is the country’s first Makerhood project. Built in 1888, the now dilapidated Krueger-Scott Mansion is being turned into a co-working residential and retail space (aka a makerhood). Once complete, artisans will move in, paying $1,800 a month for an apartment—and a shop.
Imagine the possibilities of this model? Makerhoods offers an inspiring glimpse of the future:
By bringing the beloved, traditional “living above the store” model — which supported families, inspired entrepreneurship, and created sustainable communities for decades — into the digital age, Makerhoods integrates affordable living, space for light manufacturing, the creative explosion of the “maker movement,” business support, and a shared digital platform in support of a completely new paradigm to catalyze economic development.
What Are You Making?
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Founded in 1930, Colonial Surety Company is a leading direct seller and writer of surety bonds and insurance products across the USA. Colonial is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company and U.S. Treasury listed.