Newark Urban Transit Hub, 07-26-2011
"Well good afternoon everybody thank you for coming. The Lt. Governor and I are happy to be here with Mayor Booker, with the County Executive, and with members of the legislative team, who helped to make this possible, and with Jim Weinstein, who runs New Jersey Transit for this administration. I'm happy to have signed the bill I just signed. It does a few things that I want to talk about specifically, including making changes to the urban transit hub tax credit program to make it more effective. Including an increase in the credit available to residential projects from 20 to 35% over ten years. Moving decisions about affordable housing requirements in those projects to the municipality and allowing mixed use projects to utilize commercial and residential aspects of the program. There changes are going to have a direct impact right here in Newark, on the Teacher's Village and the One Theater Square projects, further contributing to the ongoing revitalization that's going on right here in Newark. These incentives are a critical piece of a broader effort to drive New jersey's economic recovery by making investments in our urban centers a priority. I talked about this, the Lt. Governor talked about this, repeatedly in the campaign. Our goal is to revitalize new Jersey's cities and to do it through h private economic development that is incentivized and encouraged by common sense incentives from government and reductions of tax rates and regulation from government as well, in order to attract current business to expand and new business to come to our urban centers where we already have infrastructure, as you see behind me, existing that can be used by those folks who are coming to our cities in order to work. And, the success of what we're trying to do is already evident. The last months job numbers show that over the last 12 months we have created 29,300 new jobs in the private sector here in New Jersey. That is the best 12 month period, from June to June, since 2005, in six years. It shows that New Jersey's private sector economy is coming back and it's coming back because of two main reasons, one because we are creating both an atmosphere, an environment, and, candidly, a reputation around the country that New Jersey is open for business again, and that government is no longer being hostile to business but being welcoming to business. And the person who is most responsible for that is the Lt. Governor. Every day, her job when she wakes up, her main focus is to take that message to the business community around New Jersey. And along with Karen Franzinni at the EDA, and all the folks at Choose New Jersey, they are making that happen along with our private sector partners. So, the Lt. Governor deserves a great deal of credit for those job numbers. [applause] The second reason is because in New Jersey we're showing that, unlike Washington DC, the two parties can get along. You see I'm joined here today by three prominent Democratic legislators who were the driving forces behind this bill in the legislature, that worked cooperatively with our administration so that we could both reach the goals that we wanted to reach. And most of the economic incentives that we've been able to create, in this administration, have been the product of bipartisan cooperation between those folks in the State Senate and the State Assembly who understand that private sector jobs are the folks here in New Jersey want and need. And they do not want us, over these issues, fighting and bickering over the little things. They want us to accomplish big things for them. And as I said, unlike what you see in Washington DC right now with both parties being not able to get together with each other, in New Jersey leaders and members of both parties have come together to do what we need to do to create a better economic environment for the citizens of our state they deserve nothing less, but I want to commend Senator Ruiz, Senator Lesniak and Assemblyman Coutinho for their willingness to act in a bipartisan way. It's an example to the state as well, and we appreciate it very much. [applause] There will be other projects that may qualify for these amended programs from Newark to Camden, New Brunswick, Trenton, Atlantic City all across the state. The Haddon Avenue Transit Village in Camden, the Transit Village Associates gateway project in New Brunswick, the RBH TRB Newark Holdings Project that Teacher Village project right here in Newark, and the American Dream in the Meadowlands, all will benefit from the legislation that we just signed if they qualify through the requirements set out by the statute and through the operation of the EDA..."