Who is part of Main Street?
The Board of Directors of Main Street Highland Park is a group of dedicated volunteers who give of themselves and lend their expertise to Main Street's vital work. To meet our Board and learn more about them, and to get a meeting schedule, go to "about us".
What is Main Street Highland Park?
Main Street Highland Park (“MSHP”) is a volunteer-based non-profit community development organization supported by a small staff dedicated to the promotion of downtown Highland Park, NJ, as a place to live, work and do business. MSHP manages the downtown Business District for the benefit of the merchants, business owners and residents of Highland Park. As a dedicated advocate for the downtown, Main Street leverages its budget resources and relationships on behalf of its constituent members to bring about change that would not otherwise be possible.
What are other Main Street towns doing?
In South Orange, for example, a Main Street design project has led to creation of a downtown park and "universal access" sidewalks.
The economics committee of Stand Up for Salem has concentrated on brokering new uses for historic buildings.
A Main Street promotional project could be a regional event like the Hackettstown Chocolate Festival, or a retail promotion like "Welcome Home to Westfield."
See "Projects" above for details on what projects and events Main Street Highland Park has developed to showcase the unique facets of our downtown community; Main Street has coordinated them for greatest impact as part of an overall comprehensive, coordinated, and cooperative effort. Our promotions and events, like Random Acts of Fun, Street Fair, the HP-5K and the Arts Festival have all become defining, signature events.
Why those four areas?
The four-point approach is effective because it restores value to the downtown: physical, social, economic, and political value. To a resident, this means better quality of life; to a property owner or business, increased income.
What is the "Four Point" approach?
The four-point approach means strengthening downtown by improving its:
Design - the physical appearance and function of the district;
Promotions - the image, events, and outreach that draw in people;
Economics - the businesses, customers, property, and jobs;
Organization - the structure and resources that turn our ideas into Action!
To be successful, a community must coordinate its efforts in all four areas.
How is this any different from previous downtown efforts?
Main Street is a more structured program with a proven track record. It is backed with 30 years of real-world research and experience. Donors and investors recognize DCA's vote of confidence in our downtown. It also aids us in working with the state to make safety, lighting, and appearance changes along Route 27.
Is Main Street Highland Park part of the Borough of Highland Park?
No. Main Street Highland Park is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that works to preserve, protect and enhance the downtown area, its historic and natural assets while raising the equity value of properties and businesses.
How can I help out?
You can help by sending us an email, giving us a call, or simply attending the great events happening throughout the year.
Business Improvement District
How is Main Street's Board selected?
The BID Board of Directors, which is also the Board of Main Street, is composed of one-third property owners, one-third business owners, and one-third residents.
New members are elected by the current Board. Candidates are chosen from among current, active volunteers.
How is the BID funded?
The BID programs and services are underwritten by a special assessment collected from property owners in the defined boundaries of the district. The assessment is levied on the property owners. The assessment is billed and collected by the Borough of Highland Park and then disbursed to Main Street Highland Park, which in turn delivers the district’s services.
What are the boundaries of the district?
The Downtown Highland Park Business Improvement District extends along Raritan Avenue from South Adelaide to 9th on Raritan, and to 11th on Woodbridge. There are 135 commercial properties and approximately 350 businesses within the district.
What is a BID?
A Business Improvement District (“BID”) is a public/private partnership in which property and business owners elect to make a collective contribution to the maintenance, development and promotion of their commercial district.
How long will it take?
Weren’t the corners just repaired downtown? Why are you ripping them up?
It is safer and more economical to do it in this way; and with the new sidewalks, many would not have been ADA accessible.
What is the contractor doing first?
The first necessary work involves cutting the concrete so that they can make clean cuts and breaks as they demolish the existing sidewalk. The contactor will make cuts throughout the footprint of the project, beginning August 17.
When does Streetscape start?
Tuesday, Aug 17
Where will the Streetscape work begin?
Streescape will begin at the corner of 5th and Raritan on the north-side. The work will progress toward fourth (all on the north side); when the work reaches 4th, it will move to the south side and progress back toward 5th Avenue. They will then move to the 3rd to 4th block and repeat the process.
Who is paying for this?
Streetscape is being paid for by a series of grants, along with a no-interest loan to Main Street, which were secured 5-6 years ago.
Will my business have to be closed?
No. The contractor does not anticipate that any business will have to close or that access will be impeded beyond short periods when the concrete is being poured.
You are cutting down a lot of trees, how many are you planting?
Many of the current trees are unsafe, unsightly, or both; Streetscape will bring new plantings of over 60 new trees to downtown, ALONG WITH 67 new planters, new benches.
What is Streetscape?
Streetscape is the culmination of years of effort on behalf of residents, business owners and government. It is the culmination of an effort that began with the updating of the traffic signals along Raritan, the updating of the street lights. It will end with new sidewalks, attractive street “furniture” and a greater sense of place. Ultimately, downtown will benefit, as well as residents.
For even more information, and links to artist renderings, find Streetscape under "Projects" on this site.