Trenton has successfully created “place” along Warren Street and W Lafayette St. In addition, the Mill Hill Neighborhood has been a major success. The City must continue to capitalize on such efforts to encourage a strong residential community downtown, which can support local arts and retail, entertainment, and dining establishments. In the initial phase, the City must concentrate its efforts on promoting market-rate rental housing. This will allow the City to develop a critical mass of residents to support the types of establishments that will help establish Trenton as the Downtown to the Central Jersey Region.
The City has identified Expand Downtown Market-Rate Housing
as a key economic development initiative that is closely linked to this one. In the Downtown Core, an early step in this process will be the completion of the Downtown Parking Management Plan. This will not only identify how the City can better utilize its land but may also result in increased parking revenue. This revenue may be an important funding source that could support redevelopment. However, the City must also leverage the powers and incentives that are granted to it through the Redevelopment statutes as well as the Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) Program and Real Estate Impact Loan incentives provided by the State. Since this area is also envisioned as a mixed-used district, the State’s GrowNJ incentive program may also provide opportunities to encourage office development in conjunction with new residential development. Combining these efforts with the Home Ownership Incentive Program and Live Where You Work Program gives the City significant leverage to stimulate new construction downtown.
As new development begins to happen, the City must be prepared to reinforce the high-quality historic public realm that has already been established in this area. As such, the city should consider updating, publicizing, and enforce the Capital City Redevelopment Corporation downtown design standards.