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Triple Play: The impact of being a 'Transit Village'

Triple Play is a weekly NJBIZ feature that asks top executives in New Jersey to talk about three things related to their industry.

Jerry L. Barta is vice president/director of leasing and marketing for Hackensack-based real estate development firm Alfred Sanzari Enterprises.

We asked Jerry for three thoughts on how Hackensack’s recent designation by the state Department of Transportation as a “Transit Village” will positively impact the future of commercial and residential development in the city:

It shows how agencies can work together: In many ways, Hackensack’s redevelopment plan is like a stew — several different ingredients, each with its own flavor, but all work together to make it delicious. Part of the plan is the aesthetic appeal of the new residential construction, part is the redevelopment of beautiful buildings from the early 1900s. Other ingredients are new ground-floor retail uses; desirable, competitive commercial buildings; and new cultural/entertainment venues, all supported by a pedestrian friendly, transit-oriented streetscape.

It shows how planning can work: Any good planner can craft a good redevelopment plan; the question is ‘Will it work?’ The ‘Transit Village’ designation is an independent validation of the city’s redevelopment efforts because a significant criterion is identification of existing and pipeline projects. It’s not just DOT, which has taken notice of Hackensack: the city was recently awarded the Public Partner Award by NAIOP New Jersey.

It shows how the city’s reputation can be quickly improved: After the redevelopment plan was adopted, developers came forward because they saw that Hackensack was ‘open for business’ with reasonable zoning and a streamlined approval process.

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