Mayor Reed Gusciora Takes Major Step to Spur Growth in Capital City
Trenton N.J. – The City of Trenton is seeking qualified developers to submit proposals for the redevelopment of the historic Roebling Block 2 in response to the Capital City’s release of a Request for Proposal (RFP).
The site compromises seven industrial buildings and large open space; the city owns all properties within the site with a small portion of the site currently leased to a third party for parking. Roebling Block 2 is part of the historic John A. Roebling Wire Works, located within the Roebling Complex Redevelopment area, and zoned for mixed-use.
Mayor W. Reed Gusciora stated, “We are excited that there has been so much expressed interest in redevelopment of our city. With economic incentives from the state, developers will be able to imagine this landscape and help spark economic growth in our city. This will mean jobs for our citizens and expanded opportunities for local businesses.”
The RFP constitutes an invitation for responsive submissions to the City, which will be evaluated by the City’s Department of Housing and Economic Development (HED). Ultimately the new Trenton City Council will decide which developer is chosen after invitations are made to present before Council. Gusciora noted that five developers had previously submitted such proposals, but the prior Trenton City Council was slow to act on them.
North Ward Councilwoman Jenn Williams remarked, “The new Council is serious about economic development, and we understand the importance of bringing in new jobs and opportunities to our city especially to reduce poverty in our city.”
Sources to incentivize the redevelopment of Roebling Block 2 may include: Private funds, existing state grant funds, USEDA grants, tax credits (historic or economic development), Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) funds, and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.
Trenton City Council President Teska Frisby affirmed, “While we recognize the importance and urgency of this new redevelopment process, we will hear all of the proposals in good faith and weigh each proposal on its merits. In the end, we want to do what’s best for the city’s future.”
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) have expressed interest in assisting the City in this process along with the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority that have the following assistance programs that may be applicable to the redevelopment of the site: Brownfields Impact Fund, Emerge Program, Aspire Program, Historic Property Reinvestment Program, Community Anchored Development Program, direct loans, New Jersey Redevelopment Investment Funds, and the New Jersey Site Acquisition Fund.
East Ward Councilman Joe Harrison stated, “Even though our prior Council missed an opportunity to redevelop the site, especially with the prior proposal by Princetel, we look forward to working together to ensure that this project takes off.”
In 1848, John Roebling purchased a 25-acre site along the Delaware & Raritan Canal in the historic Chambersburg section of Trenton for his wire rope business. By World War I, the factory was the largest wire rope plant in the world and the company grew considerably in response to the steadily increasing demand for its products; the steel cables produced on this site are featured on the Brooklyn Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge, and other historic sites. The site has been abandoned for more than fifty years.
Mayor Reed Gusciora affirmed, “If you are interested in making a noteworthy investment in a historic site, near the Delaware River, in the Capital City, we encourage you to submit a plan for consideration. With a new and welcoming Trenton City Council, the redevelopment of Roebling Block 2 is a major priority of my administration and an important milestone in the revitalization of our local economy.”
Proposals will be due by April 11, 2023, at 12:00 PM. More information can be found at https://www.trentonnj.org/DocumentCenter/View/6597/RFP-2022-Roebling-Block-2. Questions can be emailed to Roeblingblock2RFP@trentonnj.org and responses to all questions will be posted on the City of Trenton website.
View of Block 2 from Mott Street