Mansions into Consulates

Written by Henry Jackendoff

The big run-down Victorian mansions along Greenwood and elsewhere can be turned into Trade Consulates of New Jersey’s many immigrant populations, hosting meetings from around the state, and restoring the avenues to their previous grandness.

Trenton has a large number of wonderful, grand Victorian homes along its major avenues such as Greenwood and Riverview, many of which have decayed to become multi-room tenancies or fully boarded-up.

It is suggested that the City of Trenton condemn the worst of these, and put out a Request for Proposals on each of the properties, published in both South and North Jersey newspapers, and sent to all foreign immigrant banks in the state, that these homes can be purchased at current the price of the lot, for purposes of creating a trade consulate and meeting house representing their national origin; and that these buildings can be developed, tax-free for ten years upon proof of investments for renovations meeting or exceeding the tax ratable for that year.

How many people have come to America to participate in its dream, and to become entrepreneurs, tradesmen, importing and exporting goods (as well as capital) to and from their homelands?  Just what percentage of them end in New Jersey, or utilize New Jersey’s ports or transit terminals for their wares—we can extrapolate a large number, and a major income stream. The Capital City is indeed a prestigious place to have your meetings, to host your events, and to offer lodgings for travelers to and from this country.

These grandiose homes deserve hosting delegates from around the world, as well as meetings of all types, by New Jersey’s many international residents. These will be homes spending far above any family’s yearly grocery bills, and for the first several years, far above the hardware and interior décor of a normal household in town. The loss in ratables on a dozen or more houses will be more than made up in the revitalization of our grand avenues—which the city couldn’t afford for fifty times the tax revenues it will give up by creating a number of “Consulate Rows” in our town.

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