Bloomfield Center Alliance Awarded Transformation Grant from Main Street New Jersey Program
The Bloomfield Center Alliance recently received a Transformation Grant from the Main Street New Jersey (MSNJ) Program and will use the $9,750 grant award to create a welcoming and dynamic corridor in the heart of the township downtown district.
This year marks the first time in its 30-year history that the MSNJ Program has awarded grants to designated MSNJ district organizations around the state. The grant funding is part of a larger effort by the Murphy Administration and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which administers MSNJ, to commit more resources to community revitalization programs that focus on small businesses and neighborhood improvement projects.
"I would like to thank Governor Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Oliver for recognizing the important role that our thriving downtown plays in the lives of our residents, local business owners and out of town visitors. The maintenance and constant care for cultivating a downtown area that promotes cultural diversity, multi-modal transportation, and exciting recreation opportunities is crucial for not just Bloomfield, but all of our neighboring towns and cities," said Mayor Michael Venezia. "I would like to thank the Department of Community Affairs and the Main Street New Jersey Program, as well as Executive Director Ollyn Lettman and the Bloomfield Center Alliance for helping to keep our booming downtown area a true partnership that works for everyone."
"Downtown business districts play such an important role in the economic and social health of our communities, which is why Governor Murphy and I have invested significant resources in the Main Street New Jersey Program,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. "This investment includes awarding Main Street grants for the first time ever to help downtowns with improvement projects, placemaking, and transformation strategies. All of these grant-funded activities are scheduled to be completed by year’s end and we can’t wait to see how they positively impact downtowns around the state."
The BCA applied for and received a "placemaking" grant in support of its Six Points Corner/Washington Street Corridor Initiative. The project focuses on creating a welcoming and dynamic "place" along the one block of Washington Street and the southeast corner of the downtown’s Six Points Plaza (at the intersection of Bloomfield Avenue and Glenwood avenue). Amenities to be acquired and installed in this area in the coming months, include: artistic banners and hanging plant baskets for light poles, pedestrian-oriented string lights, and decorative sidewalk tables/chairs.
"Given that the BCA and township was just this past June accepted in the state's MSNJ Program, it is gratifying to see this partnership already bear fruit in the form of this grant award," said BCA Executive Director Ollyn J. Lettman. The BCA’s planned enhancements within the target area will help elevate the experience of the hundreds of people who attend the current programs/events that we hold there, including the Block Party and Dinner under the Stars. With the help of this grant and other resources from the state, we look forward to creating additional experiences where an ever increasing segment of the community can come to Bloomfield Center and visit our great community."
Established in 1989, the MSNJ Program helps municipalities improve the economy, appearance, and image of their central business districts through the organization of local citizens and resources. Municipalities must apply and be selected to join the MSNJ Program. These designated communities receive technical support and training to assist in restoring their Main Streets as centers of economic and social activity.
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Ollyn Lettman, Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, and Bonnie Flynn at press conference
BCA Director Ollyn Lettman and Bloomfield Planning Director Bonnie Flynn