the urban prospector

Searching for Golden Opportunities in America's Cities


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Job Creation the Solution to Gentrification?

The current reinvestment in Newark raises the specter of gentrification.  As seen in my last post, stores in downtown newark are changing. Furthermore, new development, including affordable housing units, are unaffordable to a large section of the Newark population. As has been seen in cities like New York and San Francisco, this is not an easy problem to solve. There are many potential strategies and perhaps a combination of strategies will prevent Newarkers from being priced out of the city.

While many solutions focus on housing policy, an article by  Ruben Duarte at Plantetizen proposes another strategy; increasing incomes. Duarte states, “Raising the minimum wage, increasing pay overall for most workers (pay in general for workers has not kept with inflation, let alone grown), ensuring equal pay for women, providing an adequate funding for assistance programs, and many other programs that directly address how much money individuals and families bring in will do far more to mitigate the negative effects of gentrification than any onerous development requirement or price control ever will.” Continue reading


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Victory Against Surface Parking Lots in Newark

Members of PLUG celebrate victory at the Newark Zoning Board of Adjustment

Members of PLUG celebrate victory at the Newark Zoning Board of Adjustment

On Thursday November 13th, the Newark Zoning Board of Adjustment stopped (at least for the time being) the continued spread of surface lots in the Ironbound. A property owner wanted to convert his parcel near Penn Station into a surface parking lot and required a D Use Variance. This variance was denied by a unanimous vote of the 7 of 9 board members present. This decision is the culmination of a process that started in February. Opposition was led by the Planning Land Use Group (PLUG) of which I am a member. Continue reading