July 13, 2022 ~ WILDWOOD, NJ – The Pacific Avenue Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP) district has been awarded a $200,000 Community Capital Needs NPP Grant from the NJ Department of Community Affairs (NJDCA). The grant will be used to install new, high-visibility street lighting in the Pacific Avenue Business District.
In June, the NJDCA announced 13 Community Capital Needs (CCN) NPP grants totaling $3.75 million for NPP districts throughout New Jersey. The grants are designed to significantly leverage prior and new investments, and aid designated NPP districts in completing or advancing projects of a capital nature. The program was created to promote the continued recovery and revitalization of communities in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. It will also address key capital improvements in NPP districts that can serve as catalysts for ongoing economic growth and increased quality of life in those areas, resulting in more resilient communities and a stronger and fairer New Jersey.
The Pacific Avenue Neighborhood Preservation Program District is located primarily along the central portion of Pacific Avenue. The district is rectangular in shape and is bounded by East Taylor Avenue on the South, New Jersey Avenue on the West, East Oak Avenue on the North, and Pacific Avenue on the East. Properties on both sides of Pacific Avenue are included in the district, while only those on the east side of New Jersey Avenue, north side of Taylor Avenue, and south side of Oak Avenue are included. The district includes Byrne Plaza, over 50 businesses, and numerous residences.
$364,017 in combined additional funding from the City of Wildwood’s 2022 Urban Enterprise Zone Assistance Funds, the Wildwood Business Improvement District (WBID), and the City of Wildwood will go toward this project in keeping with goal of leveraging NPP funding to expand the resources and impact on the community.
The Pacific Avenue lighting program proposed in this application seeks to replace 143 light poles containing obsolete, shoebox light fixtures and 250-watt halide bulbs. There are 65 (45% of the total project) of these poles targeted for replacement in the NPP district. These will be replaced with new poles that will include banner arms, allowing for further placemaking and marketing options along the corridor. Viper fixtures with 39-watt LED natural white bulbs will be added to these poles, drastically increasing power efficiency while creating a more ambient, simulated “daylight” illumination.
“Without this grant this lighting project would never have become a reality,” said Mayor Pete Byron. “This gave us the opportunity to complete a vital project that our community told us they wanted, but for which we had no imminent funding. The CCN NPP grant will go a long way in moving this project and our community forward.”
The Pacific Avenue Business District Street Lighting Project is scheduled to be completed June next year, just in time for the summer 2023 season.
The Neighborhood Preservation Program is designed to increase place, economic, civic and social value in 40 “threatened but viable” communities. It does so by awarding designated communities $125,000 a year over 5 years to enhance buildings, streets and a district’s entire physical realm. The grants also help to support and coordinate small business recovery, growth and sustainability, and market district events and activities while engaging local stakeholders in planning and relationship building.