Press Release
December 16, 2008
2 minute read


Project Underscores Importance of Investing in New Jersey’s Cities


Trenton, N.J. (December 16, 2008) – State and local government officials joined CityWorks on Tuesday to celebrate the ceremonial groundbreaking of a large-scale redevelopment project in one of the gateway sections of Neptune Township.  Midtown Commons, supported by a broad public-private partnership, helps to foster Governor Jon S. Corzine’s strategy to stimulate investment in New Jersey’s cities and reinforces the state’s commitment to growing jobs and business during this challenging economy.

“Enhancing our urban communities helps to re-energize our cities and provides additional resources to encourage community economic development and growth,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Caren S. Franzini. “The redevelopment of West Lake Avenue, particularly during these tough economic times, will serve to strengthen the Neptune community by providing residents with a neighborhood center and by stimulating economic growth in the city.”

CityWorks, a nonprofit corporation created in 2004 to facilitate real estate projects in economically distressed neighborhoods throughout New Jersey, was tapped by Neptune in 2006 to redevelop the commercial corridor of West Lake Avenue, an area that has been in decline since the 1960s.  With the support of various state and local governmental entities and organizations, the project aims to restore the commercial vitality of the corridor and create a town center for the community. 

“It is truly an historic day for Neptune to see the beginning of a project which has involved and touched so many lives within the Midtown community and all of Neptune,” said Neptune Mayor Randy Bishop. “I am proud of CityWorks, NJEDA, TD Bank and our own Midtown Urban Renaissance Committee for the countless hours and efforts that have made what many thought impossible, now possible.”

“Nonprofit empowerment and community development are at the core of CityWorks’ mission, and the West Lake Avenue project fulfills all aspects of that calling,” said CityWorks Executive Director Tom Clark.  “CityWorks is proud to oversee a project focused on recreating Neptune’s urban center to meet the needs of its residents and to serve as a catalyst for economic growth throughout the community.”

The $18.75 million redevelopment project consists of commercial and residential buildings, including a family health center, retail stores, office space, senior housing, off-street parking and a park.  State assistance included a New Markets Tax Credits allocation, $2 million loan through the Local Development Financing Fund, a $1 million EDA guarantee of a $10.7 million senior leveraged loan from TD Bank, and a $250,000 direct loan to bridge environmental funding resources.  The project is expected to create over 370 construction jobs and nearly 100 new, full-time jobs upon completion.
“TD Bank is proud to play a role in the revitalization efforts of Neptune and the surrounding communities,” said Jim Kiernan, market president, TD Bank.  “TD Bank’s involvement is at the heart of our community culture and we believe it is both a privilege and responsibility to support our community.”

The EDA is a state financing and development agency that works to strengthen New Jersey’s economy by retaining and growing businesses through financial assistance, by renewing communities, and by promoting the States strategic advantages to attract domestic and international business.

To learn more about opportunities for business growth throughout New Jersey, visit the state’s business portal at