April, 2017 | New Jersey Future Redevelopment Forum

Good Data Can Reinforce Your Plans

The updated plan for Rowan Boulevard, which grew eightfold after research indicated a larger plan would work financially. Courtesy JGSC Group

At one of the breakout sessions at this year’s Redevelopment Forum, Joe Getz from the downtown economic-consulting organization JGSC Group gave a clinic on the importance of using good data to make decisions on downtown redevelopment projects. The familiar developer refrain “We’ve done this many times,” he cautioned, “is not data.”

There are lots of kinds of data besides demographic and Census data, he said, including interviews, surveys, and economic analysis. Such data tell us who will buy the housing we plan to build; who will shop in the stores; who will dine in the restaurants and what kind of dining they like. Census data doesn’t include any of those things, but they’re crucial to putting together redevelopment plans that will work.

Making the Affordable Housing Numbers Work(able)

Freedom Village, on the site of the former Apollo Dye factory in Paterson, provides housing for low-income seniors. Photo courtesy of Pennrose Properties.

“It’s the best of times; it’s the worst of times” is how moderator Tony Marchetta from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency kicked off the affordable housing session at this year’s Redevelopment Forum.

It’s the best of times, he said, because courts are now starting to get specific about municipal obligations, and, at the federal level, there is a push to expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit by 50 percent.