100 Abandoned Buildings in Trenton to be Demolished for Development
by Josh Anderson
TRENTON, NJ — Trenton’s neighborhoods will start looking a little different in the next few months as the city strategizes to demolish over 100 vacant buildings throughout the city. Mayor Eric Jackson announced that the Urban Blight Reduction Pilot Program will demolish over 100 abandoned buildings with the hope of “stimulating development and economic activity.”
The $11.5-million partnership between the city, the governor’s office, Greater Trenton, and the New Jersey Housing Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA), intends to be a ” significant and long-needed investment in Trenton’s revitalization,” according to the NJHMFA Executive Director Charles A. Richman. Mayor Jackson said of the partnership, “We are grateful to Gov. Murphy and our partners in state government for helping us complete the details of this critical program and ensuring that the money to fund it started flowing.”
The Urban Blight Reduction Pilot Program envisions the new developments will work to stabilize neighborhoods and prepare them for new investment, targeting vacant, unsafe, abandoned and obsolete properties in all four of the city’s wards. Properties with plans to be leveled are limited to those with one to four units, are owned by Trenton municipal government, and located in the program’s strategic demolition area. In addition, some residential properties with commercial space will be torn down.
In addition to the Urban Blight Reduction Pilot Program, the city’s Department of Housing and Economic Development’s Division of Real Estate has begun foreclosure proceedings on other properties to bring them into the city’s portfolio for either sale at city auction or to be demolished. George Sowa, CEO of Greater Trenton, an independent nonprofit organization formed to advance economic revitalization, said, “Polishing up an investment gem such as Trenton starts with reducing blight. It enables the city to consolidate sites for development and create the modern, affordable housing stock that residents want and that housing consumers from nearby markets such as New York City and Philadelphia demand.”