News
September 5, 2017

New Jersey's Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) program has played an instrumental role in NJCDC's success in revitalizing Paterson's Great Falls Promise Neighborhood.

The NRTC program, run by New Jersey's Department of Community Affairs (DCA), offers corporate sponsors a 100% tax credit for funds provided to nonprofits carrying out comprehensive revitalization plans.

NRTC's funding structure is split 60%-40%, with 60% of grant funds intended for economic development, housing, and capital projects, and the remaining 40% for programming efforts to build a stronger neighborhood. This is in keeping with NJCDC's own philosophy for revitalization, requiring the combined forces of both economic development and important social and other services that allow neighborhood residents to achieve an improved quality of life and to participate in a growing economy. As a result of NRTC funding, NJCDC has seen a marked decrease in the amount of blight in our neighborhood, an increase in economic activity and real estate development, and an increase in job- and school- ready adults, teenagers, and children.

The NRTC program and NJCDC's supportive corporate sponsors, including Sterling National Bank, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, JP Morgan Chase, Thomson Reuters, TD Bank, Boiling Springs Savings Bank, and PSE&G, have funded portions of the acquisition and construction of the following four capital projects, all located in Paterson:

Great Falls Education & Training Center
52 Front Street

52 Front St old52 Front St futureNRTC Corporate Supporters: Atlantic Stewardship Bank; Horizon Blue Cross; Lakeland Bank; M&T Bank; Railroad Construction Company; Sterling National Bank; Thomson Reuters; Valley National Bank

NJCDC is in the process of rehabilitating a rundown building just adjacent to Paterson's John F. Kennedy High School—where we operate our Compete for Life program--with plans to transform it into the Great Falls Education & Training Center in the next few months. In addition to serving as a youth center, the facility will provide non-traditional education and training opportunities not currently available locally to neighborhood students and young adults. This includes training in the area of sound and video production, mirco-enterprise development, and mentorship opportunities. This adaptive re-use is consistent with survey data in our neighborhood plan that indicates the need for expanded access to youth recreation, job training and readiness programs and for expanded access to arts programming. Additionally, the renovation of this eyesore property will contribute to enhancing the quality of life in--and appearance of--this neighborhood.

Park Corner Plaza
97 Spruce Street

Park Corner Plaza oldPark Corner Plaza newNRTC Corporate Supporters: Boiling Springs Savings Bank; Horizon Blue Cross; JP Morgan Chase; Lakeland Bank; PNC Bank; Prudential; PSE&G; Thomson Reuters

In 2017, NJCDC completed construction of a $4 million mixed-use building at 97 Spruce Street, in place of an abandoned, fire-damaged building on a formerly blighted lot. Situated on a highly visible site at the gateway to Paterson's historic district and the Great Falls National Park, the new building includes 2,800 square feet of prime retail space and eleven new apartments for low- and moderate-income households. Physical conditions in the neighborhood have improved substantially as a result of this project, and we look forward to seeing sustained economic and social benefits when the building is fully occupied.

Michael's Energy Factory
59 Spruce Street

Michael's Energy Factory oldMichael's Energy Factory newNRTC Corporate Supporters: Boiling Springs Savings Bank; PNC Bank; PSE&G; Thomson Reuters

In 2015, NJCDC used NRTC funds to help with the purchase of a $2.6 million preschool building at 59 Spruce Street from an insolvent preschool provider whose bankruptcy threatened to leave 250 children and families without a preschool. We've leased the building to an organization that operates Head Start. In this way, we avoided yet another blighted property in our neighborhood and ensured that critical preschool services are being provided to hundreds of Paterson children.

Rogers Meeting Center
32 Spruce Street

Rogers Meeting Center oldRogers Meeting Center newIn 2012, NJCDC completed construction of an innovative $4.8 million meeting center nestled within the Great Falls National Historical Park. NJCDC used NRTC funds to rehabilitate the historic building (the former storage building of the Rogers Locomotive Works), which is now in full operation as a community gathering and event space. NJCDC's Greater Spruce Street Neighborhood Plan identified a lack of community spaces in the area and this building has directly addressed that need. The facility is made community meetings, celebrations, and educational opportunities.

In addition to these four capital projects, NRTC funding has been used to support an array of programming designed to build a stronger Great Falls Promise Neighborhood:

1) NJCDC's Neighborhood Help Center, which provides neighborhood outreach and job readiness training.
2) The Great Falls Street Team, to keep local streets free of trash and debris.
3) The Paterson Youth Arts program, which provides free arts education for Paterson youth.
4) NJCDC's Full Service Community Schools programming, which provides a variety of programs and services to support student success and to strengthen families

NJCDC's CEO Bob Guarasci said, "NRTC funding has been essential to our work revitalizing Paterson's Great Falls Promise Neighborhood. We've transformed a vacant former American Legion building into a soon to be opened youth center, replaced a highly visible neighborhood blight with low- and moderate - income housing and retail space, and saved a neighborhood preschool from bankruptcy. NRTC has allowed us to provide hundreds of local youth with arts programming, operate after-school programs, and bring college interns to Paterson to help expand services. The work my colleagues and I do each and every day would not be possible without the NRTC program."

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