A Real Economic Development Plan for Downtown Trenton

Juan Martinez
People for Revitalization of South Ward (PROS)

Each week almost without fail from Monday to Friday approximately 35,000 to 40,000 public employee workers travel to and from Trenton to work in downtown State government office buildings. For the most part these individuals all gainfully employed spent little if any of there disposable income in the various stores and shops that are found on West State, East State and Broad streets and the side streets that connect to the  larger major thruways.

Are state workers and others who work in or near the downtown area afraid to venture out and spend their moneys in the downtown stores? Is that the reason why they are not shopping in the downtown stores? Actual crime and negative public perceptions of Trenton and its downtown are real. It is no doubt that there are scores of State and other workers who will not venture beyond the food it that because of their fear of becoming another crime statistic. Crime and the negative image of Trenton and its downtown must be addressed. Downtown workers and others must feel comfortable and safe walking Trenton’s downtown area.

The reason why State workers and others do not shop in the stores of Trenton’s downtown however it is felt is not just because individuals may or may not feel safe. Perhaps, there might be other reasons as to why the approximately 35,000 to 40,000 potential clients, customers and consumers may not be buying from downtown Trenton stores and shop. Could it be that the stores and the shops that populate the downtown shopping area do not offer the commuting workers the goods and services they desire?

To attract the approximately 35,000 to 40,000 potential clients, customers and consumers that come to Trenton there needs to be a concerted effort by the governing body of the city, Downtown Merchant Association and others to identify and encourage stores that would cater to the wants and desires of the commuting works. There is a need to attract businesses and franchises that will able to the needs of the commuting workers and will find such stores and shops more convenient to shop at then having to wait until they reach some mall located once they leave the confines of the city of Trenton.

Fitness centers, hardware shops, computer and book stores would seem like a natural fit to be located downtown. Clothes stores that would appeal to professional and working men and women similar to those found at suburban malls would also seem to be a good fit.

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