By Myles Ma

HACKENSACK — Local developers got a glimpse of a plan to rehabilitate Main Street Monday, and they gave the project high marks.

“It’s everything you want to hear,” William Procida, president of Procida Funding and Advisors, said. “Municipal cooperation, good design, and everybody’s on board.”

Developers gathered at the Stony Hill Inn heard a plan to clear up the application process, ease parking requirements and improve circulation by allowing two-way traffic on Main Street.

The city will lower the number of parking spaces developers need when they plan sites. For example, a 10,000 square foot retail space that would require 280 spaces under current ordinances would only require 165 under the new zoning.

The difference would save more than $2 million, Doug Doyle, an attorney with DeCotiis, FitzPatrick and Cole, said. The law firm helped Hackensack develop the rehabilitation plan.

Hackensack will help guide developers through the application process. Before appearing before the planning board, developers can sit with a committee made up of City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono and other land-use officials.

The technical review committee will advise developers on what obstacles they might expect in front of the planning board.

“Before you spend a lot of money to get told no, you get those roadblocks out of the way,” Lo Iacono said.

The biggest change for residents might be a change in traffic patterns in the Main Street area.

Traffic studies showed that a two-way Main Street would boost economic development, Francis Reiner
of DMR architects said.

The changes are eagerly anticipated, Christopher McCormick, business development manager for Gilbane Building Company, said.

“The past couple of years we haven’t seen anything like this,” McCormick, whose firm is working with Hackensack University Medical Center, said. “They’ve definitely given the developers a lot of incentives and hopefully it all pans out.”

The rehabilitation of Main Street will take time, Lo Iacono said. But the City will see its first big project soon, he said without revealing any details.

Mayor Mike Melfi said he was looking forward to seeing the concepts of the plan become a reality.
“Once the first project comes in here I think that’s going to be the spark for the City,” he said. “From there, it’s going to continue to grow and grow and grow.”


October 1, 2012 News