NBT Releases New Esperanza Neighborhood Plan

June 25, 2019

New Brunswick Tomorrow Releases New Esperanza Neighborhood Plan

New Brunswick, NJ — New Brunswick Tomorrow released a draft version of a new 10-year plan for New Brunswick’s Esperanza Neighborhood for public review.

The Esperanza Neighborhood is a low- to moderate-income neighborhood of approximately 11,880 residents within a 57-block area in New Brunswick. The neighborhood spans from Somerset Street to Livingston Avenue, with French Street, Joyce Kilmer Avenue, and Jersey Avenue in its interior.

The newEsperanza Neighborhood Plan features a comprehensive set of strategies that will be implemented over the next ten years aimed at further improving the neighborhood. NBT partnered with residents, business owners, and other stakeholders to undertake a year-long neighborhood planning process that included 11 community meetings, a door-to-door neighborhood perception survey, a shopper intercept survey along the French Street corridor, focus groups with public officials and stakeholder groups, and an analysis of demographic, statistical, and economic factors. Over 800 people participated in the Esperanza Neighborhood planning process.

The Plan builds off the success of the initial Esperanza Neighborhood Plan, which was created in 2013 and launched as the Esperanza Neighborhood Project in 2014. Since then, the Esperanza Project has grown into a thriving, community-led initiative with extensive resident involvement and a robust set of organizational partners, including PRAB, New Jersey Community Capital, and Rising Tide Capital.

Some accomplishments over the past 5 years include:

  • Over 1,000 community residents participated in volunteer community-improvement activities like community meetings, trash clean ups, and crime watch groups
  • Over 40 vacant properties rehabilitated and returned to productive use through implementation of the City’s vacant and abandoned properties tools
  • A joint marketing brochure for the French Street business corridor uniting 31 restaurants and 49 other small businesses
  • The construction of a new park in the Neighborhood on a site formerly occupied by abandoned buildings
  • Amenity improvements to Joyce Kilmer Park, the primary neighborhood park
  • 48 neighborhood graduates of Rising Tide Capital’s entrepreneurship course, Community Business Academy
  • 30 neighborhood vendors/micro-entrepreneurs participated in pop-up marketplace events
  • 75 graduates of PRAB’s Family Leadership Academy, who collectively saved over $175,000
  • Production of two public murals in the business district
  • Organization of 20 community fairs/festivals
  • Resident-led advocacy led to the adoption of four citywide ordinances related to municipal identification cards, vacant and abandoned properties, and employee paid sick time

During the new plan’s public review period, NBT will post digital copies of the complete draft plan and a Spanish-language summary on its website (www.nbtomorrow.org/newsroom). Additionally, NBT will post links on its social media pages, and will distribute the draft via email to residents who provided an email address during the planning process. Physical copies of the draft Plan, as well as Spanish-language summaries, are available for review during normal operating hours at PRAB’s central office at 90 Jersey Avenue and the New Brunswick Free Public Library at 60 Livingston Avenue.  You can share any comments or questions by calling 732-484-8511 or e-mailing cbergman@nbtomorrow.org. We will be accepting comments until July 10.

A public hearing will be held in the neighborhood on July 1, 2019, at 6:00pm at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 293 Somerset Street.

About New Brunswick Tomorrow:

For more than 40 years, NBT has driven social revitalization for the city of New Brunswick. New Brunswick Tomorrow is a social impact organization, committed to moving people forward. We address the human issues that impact us all, including the conditions of the neighborhoods, a family’s health and well-being, and a child’s progress and ability to meet their fullest potential. The mission is to improve the quality of life for all who call New Brunswick home. For more information call 732-246-0603 or visit www.nbtomorrow.org