Posted on

Hackensack named an official transit village by N.J. transportation department

Ridgewood -bus-station-theridgewoodblog

ridgewood bus station


After two years of work, Hackensack has finally been named an official transit village by the New Jersey transportation department, the city announced Wednesday. The designation will make it easier for the city’s government to apply for grants and to receive technical assistance from the state on redevelopment projects, said deputy mayor Kathleen Canestrino.

“We’re just thrilled to have this,” Canestrino said. “It verifies that the state is committed to our city’s vision for redevelopment.”

That vision is focused on the downtown bus terminal on River Street. The city has rewritten its zoning laws to allow taller, mixed-use commercial and residential buildings to be constructed within a half-mile of the terminal, Canestrino said, including much of Main Street. Developers have proposed or started construction on eight different projects within that zone, which city leaders hope will transform Hackensack’s long-suffering downtown into a hub for professionals commuting into New York City.

“We really had a failing Main Street that was totally underutilized,” said Canestrino. “The city took it upon itself to say okay, let’ really focus our redevelopment activities on that area.”

Two years sounds like a long time to invest in gaining transit village certification, but officials at the transportation department warned Hackensack’s leaders at the outset that the process would not be quick, Canestrino said. It included multiple visits to Hackensack by state bureaucrats, who looked to see that the area’s rezoning was done in accordance with state rules that encourage new residents to use mass transit, and that construction projects already were underway.