Deputy Mayor Marcos D. Vigil Talks Jersey City Economic Development: Light Industrial and Commercial Sectors Have Greatest Potential for Jersey City
by Josh Anderson
JERSEY CITY, NJ — Marcos D. Vigil is the Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development & Commerce at the City of Jersey City. We welcomed the esteemed official to CAPRE’s Sixth Annual New Jersey Gold Coast Investment Summit for a Keynote Address titled Jersey City Economic Development Vision and Incentives in 2018. Below, we highlight some of his remarks, which highlight specific economic development initiatives that are keeping Jersey City in the limelight.
For example, Vigil spoke of the SciTech Scity program. “This is a partnership between Jersey City and the Science Center, to create new laboratories for incubation and a new K-12 STEM school, as well as to attract talent, such as scientists from around the world, to Jersey City,” he explained.
“However, it’s not only what SciTech Scity will bring to Jersey City, but also what it will bring to the surrounding communities and the Canal Crossing and the Morris Canal area, which is a development plan that was implemented more than a decade ago,” continued Vigil. “It is time for it to sort of, take Jersey City to the next level.“
Vigil then predicted that the light-industrial and commercial sector are likely to have the greatest potential for Jersey City in the foreseeable future. “You’ve heard today from a lot of panelists — especially if they work on the waterfront – that many of them have foregone the usual track of going for pilots,” he revealed. “There are several reasons for that. I would suspect that the project/labor requirements, the prevailing wage requirements, might be a reason for that. But it’s also a reflection of where we thought that the market had matured to.”
To be clear, they’re not going anywhere soon though. “Pilots continue to be a tool that Jersey City will make available for residential projects of a certain size, in areas of the city towards the South side, towards the West side, and towards the Hackensack waterfront,” Vigil shared. “But we’re unlikely to see it happen in the same volume that it was seen in the Hudson River waterfront.”
“In addition, for the developers and attorneys who are familiar with our style this will be no surprise, my role is typically that of a translator,” mused Vigil earnestly. “Not only because English is my second language, but also because I am a former attorney. I usually am the interacting agent in between development in Jersey City and what is happening locally with the city council or with residents in the city.”
“And I’d say that most of the people that I work with on a regular basis understand that, because of the re-valuation and because of the impact that many residents of the waterfront are seeing on their taxes, and also because of the demand on affordable housing not only in Jersey City but many cities nationwide, there is a strong drive, particularly from community residents as well as the local politicians, to look for alternatives that increase affordable housing,” he continued.