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3/15/2010 - Hamilton to Promote Economic Opportunity and Redevelopment

Hamilton to Promote Economic Opportunity and Redevelopment

This Week with Approval of Arts and Cultural District       

and Initial Mill One Project Approval

(Hamilton) – In his most recent State of the Township Address, Hamilton Township Mayor John Bencivengo indicted that expanding economic and job opportunities would be a major focus of his in 2010.  And at this Tuesday’s Hamilton Township Council Meeting, two significant initiatives that will promote economic redevelopment will be considered for approval.


Arts and Cultural District


First, the Township Council will consider adopting the final plan for Hamilton’s Arts and Cultural District, which extends across business or commercial areas of the Township, between Hamilton’s Mercerville and Bromley neighborhoods. 


By approving the Arts and Cultural District, Hamilton will expand economic opportunities by allowing for additional permitted business uses in the area – specifically those encouraging art galleries, live theater, art and dance studios, dual live and work spaces for artists, cultural facilities, displays of public art and murals.


Building upon one of Hamilton’s treasures, the nationally renowned Grounds For Sculpture –which currently receives 100,000 visitors annually – the Township hopes to begin efforts to what someday will become an Arts and Cultural Destination.


“Through our Arts and Cultural District, we will be expanding economic opportunities in Hamilton, spurring investment and job creation, revitalizing commercial areas of our community that have historically been underutilized and encouraging art and cultural attractions that residents will be able to enjoy,” says Mayor John Bencivengo.   “This exciting initiative holds great potential for our community’s future, and I believe is putting Hamilton on the right path for future economic growth and redevelopment.”


Since the announcement of plans for the district this past summer, already Hamilton has received initial interest in at least one location in this area – Suburban Plaza.  While Mayor Bencivengo notes that discussions were very preliminary, it was an encouraging sign of what final approval of the Arts and Cultural District might mean for Hamilton’s economic future.


Mill One Project


A second agenda item for Tuesday’s Township Council meeting is an initial approval that would pave the way for a major project application in the southern portion of the Arts and Cultural District – the Mill One Project by non-profit Isles, Inc.  


Through the project, Isles, Inc. plans to renovate an abandoned, turn of the century textile mill that was deteriorating near the Bromley neighborhood in Hamilton into a mixed-use facility that will house artist studios, office space, shops and a café.


Isles estimates that the redevelopment project will add $12 million of annual spending into the local economy.   And in addition to the economic benefits, the redevelopment project will use “green standards”, in keeping with Hamilton Township’s “Clean and Green” motto for environmental sustainability.


“Mill One is an exciting redevelopment project that is a win-win for the residents of Hamilton Township,” says Mayor Bencivengo. “This project will create jobs for hundreds of local workers, add millions to the local economy and brilliantly renovate one of New Jersey’s great old factories.”