Leader for Business District Hired Promoting Downtown Hackensack

By South, Todd | The Record (Bergen County, NJ), November 2, 2015 | Go to article overview

Leader for Business District Hired Promoting Downtown Hackensack


South, Todd, The Record (Bergen County, NJ)


HACKENSACK -- The Main Street Business Alliance, a group of property owners that has pushed for and supported downtown redevelopment for the past decade, has hired an executive director whose mission will be to educate the public on the need to continue the revival of the business district.

Patrice Foresman took over the executive director position at the Main Street Business Alliance, previously referred to as the Upper Main Alliance, in early September. At the alliance's board meeting last week, she focused on outreach efforts over the coming year.

"Anything that happens in downtown Hackensack is going to have a trickle effect for the surrounding areas," Foresman said.

The Ridgewood resident comes to the $75,000 annual salary position from previous marketing, community and corporate engagement positions at Community Blood Services in Montvale, and a 20-year career as an executive account manager for both ABC and NBC network TV affiliates.

The alliance manages a business improvement district, authorized by the City Council under state law. The group, formed in 2004, collects an extra 10 percent fee from the property tax assessment for each property in the district. Those funds must be used to maintain, improve and promote the business district. The group has subsidized new awnings, purchased street banners, funded studies on downtown traffic, parking and signs. It also pays for district trash collection, street cleaning and facade improvements.

The group has been a driving force and partners with the city administration in promoting redevelopment. If successful, the redevelopment would add thousands of apartments and new residents to the downtown. Those new residents, business owners hope, will bring new retail and restaurant options to the city's rehabilitation zone, which encompasses the entirety of Main Street and spreads outward to include State and River streets.

If the effort is successful, property values could rise. Foresman said that she and Alliance Chairman Jerome Lombardo are planning a yearlong outreach push contacting institutions such as Bergen Community College and Fairleigh Dickinson University; corporate residents such as Hackensack University Medical Center; and resident groups at local churches, social service groups and neighborhoods. The purpose is to educate the groups on the work that the alliance is doing and create partnerships in the city with Main Street. …

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