PERTH AMBOY – The Wells Fargo Regional Foundation recently awarded a $100,000 “Neighborhood Planning Grant” to the Perth Amboy Redevelopment Team for Neighborhood Enterprise & Revitalization (PARTNER) on behalf of the Gateway Neighborhood Collaborative (GNC).
GNC is a growing group of community based organizations, residents, and other relevant stakeholders working together to create and form the “GNC Neighborhood Vision”, a resident-driven plan to improve the quality of life for the “Gateway” neighborhood of Perth Amboy.
”When considering the future of a neighborhood, it is essential to bring the voice of residents to the forefront of any planning initiative. That is why we are excited to support with The Gateway Neighborhood Collaborative and PARTNER in the development of a comprehensive plan for the neighborhood,” said Denise McGregor Armbrister, Executive Director of the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation.
The main objective of this initiative is to create an actionable plan that addresses the needs and improves the lives of the residents of the Gateway neighborhood of Perth Amboy. The core principles of the planning process are:
- Focus on ensuring the ideas in the plan arise from the community and that residents, local organizations and key partners remain engaged and drive the implementation of the plan forward;
- Devise a collaborative framework for coordinating and leveraging existing resources, while also creating strategies for enticing new resources and investments to the area. This includes identifying new partners—from both inside and outside the existing community—who can enhance social cohesion, educational opportunities, social services and physical improvements; and
- Offer solutions for stabilizing the neighborhood infrastructure and service gaps, while also capitalizing on market trends in the area that will advance current areas of strength in the neighborhood.
“The Gateway Neighborhood Collaborative is a group of community organizations and residents working together to form a neighborhood vision. Our goal is to create a resident driven plan to guide the economic and human capital development for the Gateway Neighborhood,” said Douglas Dzema, Executive Director of PARTNER.
In collaboration with the Jewish Renaissance Foundation (JRF), PARTNER hosted a community launch event today at the Jankowski Community Center to formally introduce the “Gateway Neighborhood Collaborative” and its core purpose. The JRF is a partner in this initiative and will be responsible for facilitating community engagement strategies and providing technical guidance with the overall planning process.
“The JRF is all about community partnerships and collaboration. We are happy to be able to utilize what we’ve learned from our own neighborhood revitalization initiative; the Perth Amboy Alliance for Community (PAAC) in the Greater Budapest neighborhood, to help engage residents from the GNC target area and get this initiative going as well,” said Alexandra Mansonet-Cross, Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Renaissance Foundation.
The subject area is an estimated 42 square blocks located within the southeastern and central quadrants of the City of Perth Amboy. The borders of the Gateway neighborhood are demarked by streets and physical boundaries. To the north, the neighborhood ends at Fayette Street. Convery Boulevard (Route 35) forms the western boundary. The southern boundary is demarcated by the Raritan River. First Street is the eastern edge of the community.
This GNC planning grant will support the direct expenses that are essential to the community planning process such as planning consultants and staff, neighborhood outreach and organizing, community meetings, and advisory group development. The consultant for GNC’s plan is TRIAD Associates. GNC anticipates that the planning process and the “Gateway Neighborhood Vision” should be completed by June, 20014. Once the plan is completed, GNC will seek funding and investments to implement the plan.
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