Phillipsburg downtown: sparks are flying!

view from Historic Phillipsburg to Easton Lehigh-Delaware Rivers confluence
June 26, 2020 * by ellen shaughnessy
“After many years of distractions, Phillipsburg appears to be beyond the crossroads of the past, moving toward a brighter future. Significant investments in Phillipsburg are already happening in all corners of town, including up and down South Main Street. Local government and community groups support these changes by providing incentive programs and enhanced public spaces that serve as a catalyst attracting additional public interest in the area.
As an investor in the Opportunity Zone, I feel the benefits of the regulations, combined with the cooperation of the community, place Phillipsburg on a positive trajectory resulting in a sustainable improved quality of life supported by long-term economic development.” ~ Bill Benz, invested property owner and creator of
MaryJo is leading the charge, in community development

lovePhilipsburg.com. Bill is one of many volunteers and stake-holders that have put their money where their mouth is – and is now investing their time and expertise, on MaryJo Harris’ downtown Phillipsburg task forces. The NJ Opportunity Zone is in a very specific footprint of Philipsburg.

MaryJo Harris is Norwescap’s Community Development Coordinator. Armed with some grants and a mission to improve the streetscapes, housing opportunities, and to help foster an attractive economic climate – MaryJo has joined forces with the local Chamber of Commerce, the Phillipsburg Downtown Assn (PDA), the Town of Phillipsburg (council members, Mayor Tersigni, DJ from Public Works, et al) and many local business and property owners. There is a small army of many dedicated residents and small business owners that are working hard to make this a better place.

Get out with NPP!  (sorry – my high school soundtrack is forever there).
NPP stands for the Neighborhood Preservation Plan. If you have driven down s. Main St. lately, I’m sure you have noticed the beautiful hanging flower baskets and beds dotting the streetscape. Soon you will notice some fresh new pops of color on the Shappell Park gazebo, and new benches around town where you might enjoy an al fresco bite.
Wow: Flowerland! Thank you Mike Muckle and the NJ Youth Corps for installing these beauties.

“Norwescap, working with the Town of Phillipsburg, is committed to strengthening the Phillipsburg community through preservation-based economic development in the older and historic downtown and neighborhood commercial districts.  We follow the Main Street USA approach to revitalization in committing to creating places of shared prosperity, equal access to opportunity, and inclusive engagement.  Now, more than ever, is the time to get on-board to be a part of the rebirth and revitalization of the Phillipsburg area and join the generations of families that call Phillipsburg home.  Support the community by seeing yourself in Phillipsburg, shopping, dining, walking, biking… bringing your unique business and talents to a community rich in history and pride.”

“We hit the ground running around the middle of April after learning that Norwescap’s Community Development funding (NPP and CBCR) was intact and we would proceed as normal, under not so normal conditions.  But we did it, we pulled together and got to work, hours of work to build the NPP teams, Design, Event Support, Business Development and now Promotions.  We have worked with partners to help get banners and flower baskets hung, cleaned, repaired, painted benches and gazebos.  Assisted in creating an out-door dining space, developing a Doing Business in Phillipsburg Guide, working on streetscape furniture placement, lighting projects, planning pop-up markets, Community Crawls and that’s just the beginning.  This work takes a lot of collaboration and buy-in and without you I would still be figuring out how to “GET STUFF DONE” ! – MaryJo.

The Community Development force is now working with a Nunez Co. branding company. Watch for a new strategy to re-energize the downtown area and to thread Phillipsburg’s story throughout the strategy so it’s not just about South Main St, but about the entire community.

In addition to sprucing up of streetscapes, parks, and the skatepark, there are quite a few incentives in town for investors and small business owners. MaryJo wants you to know: “Phillipsburg is open for business, new and old, we’re waiting for you….”

Want to donate or volunteer?  Learn more about Norwescap here.

Many more exciting things are coming to s. Main: Apothecarium, is sure to help with some foot traffic here! Interested in bringing your business here? Check out some of these cool properties available for lease along this corridor:

39 s. Main St. for lease $900/mon.
60 s. Main with a commercial kitchen and deck access! $1000/mon.
74 s. Main St. $800/mon. with a little extra parking.
1900 Union Square looking towards Easton – thanks for sharing, Carol Diee!

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