It is very common in NJ towns to hear public outcry when significant redevelopment is proposed. More kids to teach, more cars to park, and a new streetscape.
These are all valid concerns. Ridgewood is not an island. It shares these issues with most NJ towns. Many of these communities have moved ahead with projects and the worse-case fears never materialize. Once built, redevelopment projects quickly become part of the fabric of the community. The new vitality encourages more reinvestment especially in the smaller properties nearby.
Ridgewood’s population/household density is not remarkable in the county or the state. I’m not sure, but since the 80’s Ridgewood like many NJ towns has seen a decline in population. Almost every town does a poor job of handling cars and pedestrians.
Most experts on the subject think that there are 21st century solutions to these problems. Chasing away reinvestment is not one of the solutions. Our NJ towns are largely built-out. Proposals for reinvestment are renewal projects not development over green acres. These projects are built on private property as a business propositions and require investment and financing. The cost of development is so steep that the scale of the project must be at a certain level to be viable.
There are very few foolish developers and investors who don’t care deeply about the community where they put their money. Land use controls are slow to catch up to the times and are generally not good at looking into the future. Ridgewood’s future looks very promising.
Broker, 4a Realty