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New Planning Chief’s Vision of Jersey City’s Future

Newly appointed planning director envisages development of all kinds, not one-size-fits-all

Population and buildings continue to rise in Jersey City, and its planners must deal not just with new people and development but with their effects on aging infrastructure and old neighborhoods.

Annisia Cialone, the city’s new planning director, believes that Jersey City’s downtown and waterfront will continue to develop “because that’s where the market pressure is.”

But Cialone, in an extended interview with NJTV, noted that development is taking place throughout the city. “…areas such as Journal Square are really having a resurgence and there’s a lot of interest for development there, as well as other neighborhoods in the city from the Heights down to Greenville,” she said.

While agreeing that largescale development might not be welcome in neighborhoods where one- and two-family homes predominate, Cialone said, “…maybe there’s some stuff in the six-story range, but usually there’s a mix of infill projects that really fit the scale of that neighborhood, and we feel it’s important to work directly with those communities and those neighborhoods to feel out what they feel is comfortable for them.”

One way to renew neighborhoods while making sure current residents are not priced out of them, Cialone said, is “through affordable housing … and really, the mayor has taken the lead on that and we follow… we’re seeing affordable housing coming in the downtown and the waterfront area, where it hasn’t been in the last 30 years. We have new buildings being built that are at an 80/20 mix … an 80 percent market rate, 20 percent affordable housing — and two of those are even under construction right now so that’s very exciting.”

Read the full interview on NJTV News Online, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.

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