A new vision for Downtown Hackensack.

About

Main Street Hackensack is a vision to transform our downtown into a walkable, livable, sustainable community. Our ultimate goal is to strengthen and empower existing businesses and provide new opportunities for mixed-use development. By creating an authentic urban environment, we can turn Hackensack into the cultural and economic heart of Bergen County.

Our vision promotes a diverse range of land uses, business, and housing options that will improve our infrastructure, streetscape, and create new open space possibilities in Hackensack. By creating a clearly defined downtown district made up of a series of interconnected mixed-use neighborhoods, we can develop a new environment where people live, work, shop, and dine.

A collaborative effort between the City of Hackensack and the Upper Main Alliance Special Improvement District, this revitalization of our downtown will preserve the history of our great city while adopting 21st century redevelopment practices. Our vision is to create a balance between vehicular, pedestrian, and mass transportation options to promote connectivity and minimize traffic. By creating a long-term vision for Hackensack, we can capitalize on our City’s assets already in place including the Bergen County Government Complex, Bergen County Community College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and Hackensack University Medical Center.

Over the coming years, the City of Hackensack will use the June 2012 Rehabilitation Plan as a guide to ensure sound long-term planning for the continued growth of Hackensack.

The Plan

The June 2012 Rehabilitation Plan is broken down into five distinct parts. First, we lay out our vision and planning goals. Second, we discuss Land Use & Zoning changes to streamline the process for investors in Hackensack. Third, the Architectural and Neighborhood Design Standards set forth rehabilitation and development guidelines. Fourth, the Circulation Plan explains the new traffic patterns that decrease traffic and enhance business prospects for businesses. The final phase, Implementation Strategies, lays out the incentives and strategy moving forward to make this plan a reality.

Introduction

On March 1, 2011, the Hackensack City Council adopted Resolution No. 112-11 to explore areas in need of rehabilitation throughout Hackensack. This led DMR Architects to produce a report titled “Area in Need of Rehabilitation Study” that determined Hackensack’s downtown qualified as an area in need of rehabilitation because of a deteriorating infrastructure. On June 21, 2011 the City Council empowered the City Manager and City Attorney to supervise the undertaking of a planning, engineering, and legal analysis to develop the June 2012 Rehabilitation Plan.

The Rehabilitation area consists of approximately 163.8 acres on 389 parcels in 39 city blocks. Based on the 2001 City of Hackensack Master Plan, the Rehabilitation Area consists of the following:

  • Office (52.18%)
  • General Commercial (34.96%)
  • High Density Residential/Commercial (6.42%)
  • Parking (2.05%)
  • City (1.28%)
  • Semi-Public (1.02%)
  • Parks & Open Space (1.02%)
  • Medium Density Residential (0.51%)
  • County (0.51%)
  • Redevelopment Office (0.25%)

 

The City of Hackensack is going to create a livable, walkable, sustainable downtown to strengthen existing businesses and provide new development opportunities in our community. By promoting a diversity of land uses, enacting clear design standards, and streamlining the approval process, we can open new opportunities in Hackensack.

Land Use & Zoning

By streamlining and simplifying zoning in Hackensack, we can incentivize coordinated redevelopment, create new open spaces, and create a long-term vision for our city – not piecemeal solutions.  This will be done in two specific avenues: catalyst and non-catalyst development.

  • Catalyst Development
    • A catalyst development project should be significant enough in size and scale to enhance the physical characteristics on Main Street while meeting the vision, goals, and objectives of our master design plan.  A catalyst development must contain over 400,000 of leasable square feet and include 50% linear street frontage for at least one block facing Main Street.
    • A catalyst development can be separated into phases that collectively equal the required project size, scale, and characteristics, but collectively must be part of a single site plan submittal.
    • The height of a catalyst development cannot exceed 14 stories.
    • Shared parking is permitted and encouraged inside catalyst development zones.
  • Non-Catalyst Development
    • A non-catalyst development must be at least 450 square feet with a minimum set back of eighteen feet from the back of the existing or proposed curb on Main Street.
    • The height of non-catalyst development cannot exceed 5 stories.
    • The density, area, yard, and height requirements are not required for the rehabilitation of existing structures with less than a 20% expansion.
    • Shared parking is both permitted and encouraged for non-catalyst development projects.

 


 

Parking Standards

Parking Standards for Non-Catalyst Developments:

The minimum parking requirements for Non-Catalyst Development Projects which meet the Density, Area, Yard and Height Requirements for the Rehabilitation Area are as follows:

Use ****

- Multi-family Studio:
- Multi-family:
- Retail:
- Restaurant:
- Medical Office:
- General Office:
- Civic, Cultural, Institutional:
- Assembly:
- Hotel:
 
- College:
Parking Ratio

1.0 sp per dwelling unit
1.25 sp per dwelling unit
4.0 sp/1,000 GFA*
8.0 sp/ 1,000 GFA*
4.0 sp/1,000 GFA
3.5 sp/1,000 GFA
1.0 sp/4.0 seats
2.5 sp/10.0 seats
0.75 sp/ per room
+ 1 sp/employee**
3.0 sp/1000 GFA

 

Parking Standards for Catalyst Developments:

The minimum parking requirements for Catalyst Development Projects which meet the Density, Area, Yard and Height Requirements for the Rehabilitation Area are as follows:

Use ****

- Multi-family Studio:
- Multi-family:
- Retail:
- Restaurant:
- Medical Office:
- General Office:
- Civic, Cultural, Institutional:
- Assembly:
- Hotel:
 
- College:
Parking Ratio

1.0 sp per dwelling unit
1.0 sp per dwelling unit
3.0 sp/1,000 GFA*
7.0 sp/1,000 GFA*
3.5 sp/1,000 GFA ***
3.0 sp/1,000 GFA
1.0 sp/5.0 seats
2.0 sp/10.0 seats
0.75 sp/ per room
+ 1 sp/employee**
3.0 sp/1000 GFA

 
Notes:
* Outdoor seating does not count toward the requirement parking ratio. Restaurants under 600 sf do not require parking.
** Employee parking is based on the number of employees per shift.
*** For projects where medical office use does not comprise over 25% of office space in the project.
**** See Section 3.1 Rehabilitation Standards for additional parking standards. For uses not specifically stated refer to Section 175-10.1 of Off-Street Parking Regulations in the City of Hackensack Zoning Ordinance.

Design Standards

The design standards of the Rehabilitation Plan promote high quality, pedestrian friendly, mixed use development to create a new environment in the heart of the City of Hackensack.  Any future development is subject to these minimum design standards promoting an appropriate scale for Main Street, respect for the character of existing historic buildings, contemporary design for new developments, unified streetscape design, new construction with an emphasis on modern materials and construction methods.

All designs should adhere to the following minimum standards:

  • The base of a building shall be distinguished from the remainder of the building with an emphasis on providing design elements enhancing a pedestrian environment.
  • All buildings shall be oriented toward public streets and public open spaces.  The first floors of all buildings – including structured parking – must be designed to encourage and complement pedestrian-scale activity.
  • Building entrances should be easily identifiable and feature large, open, and transparent windows with unique and interesting signage.

The Rehabilitation Plan will promote urban open spaces, minimize parking structures by screening them from Main Street, and require street level commercial, retail, office, or residential uses to promote pedestrian activity.

Preserving Hackensack’s architectural heritage is a vital and valuable element for the creation of a pedestrian friendly, mixed-use urban environment.  With a number of properties inside the rehabilitation area as candidates for preservation, Hackensack will consider the following factors:

  • Age of the structure;
  • Structural/historical integrity;
  • Overall contributing historic character;
  • Adaptability to new or improved use;
  • Symbolic significance; and
  • Visibility and prominence.

By creating standards for streetscape revitalization, Hackensack will require minimum standards for design, trees, lighting, sidewalks, seating, plants, trash receptacles, bicycle racks, bollards, fountains, public art, kiosks, newspaper racks, parking meters, and utility accessories.

Tenants and developers are encouraged to explore a variety of signage types, sizes and styles with the objective of integrating the design of the signage into the whole storefront design.  Our main goal is to maintain creative consistency with an emphasis on durable, natural materials and quality manufacturing.

 

Circulation Plan

Through the Rehabilitation Plan, the City of Hackensack developed guidelines to embrace a successful mixed use downtown through the design of a complete street network. A critical element to the future success of Hackensack’s downtown is the conversion of the existing one-way street network into a two-way street network. The two-way street network will promote greater accessibility to Hackensack’s downtown, allow a greater collaboration between the city’s myriad transportation options, and enhance the viability of commercial and residential uses.

The new two-way street network will promote the development of a compact urban environment with improved connectivity to the existing rail and bus transit stations while encouraging walking and pedestrian activity. By improving the efficiency and capacity of the existing street grid, traffic congestion will be relieved and vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles will see enhanced accommodations.

Implementation

The City of Hackensack has a number of tools at its disposal to implement the Rehabilitation Plan, improve our infrastructure, streetscape, gateways, parks and open space, and parking structures with the long-term goal of remaking our downtown into a livable, walkable, and sustainable community.

In order to spur and foster catalyst development projects, the City of Hackensack will consider a number of financial, tax, and bonding options in accordance with furthering the goals of the Rehabilitation Plan.

  • Special Assessment Financing
  • Parking Revenue Financing
  • Development Rights
  • Municipal Reimbursement Model
  • Local, State, and Federal Grants and Tax Credits
  • Payment in Lieu of Taxes
  • Payment in Lieu of Parking

The use of any of these financing or funding mechanisms will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the City Council to determine what is in the best interest of Hackensack.

  • Introduction

    Introduction

  • Land Use & Zoning

    Land Use & Zoning

  • Design Standards

    Design Standards

  • Circulation Plan

    Circulation Plan

  • Implementation

    Implementation

Rehabilitation Areas

The Area in Need of Rehabilitation consists of the following Blocks as they are shown on the Tax Map for the City of Hackensack.

Block 310
Block 311
Block 311.01
Block 312
Block 313
Block 314
Block 315
Block 316
Block 401
Block 401.01
Block 402
Block 403
Block 405
Block 406
Block 407
Block 407.01
Block 408
Block 409
Block 410
Block 411
Block 64
Block 200
Block 202
Block 203
Block 204
Block 204.01
Block 205
Block 206.01
Block 206.02
Block 207
Block 208
Block 209
Block 210.01
Block 210.02
Block 301
Block 302
Block 303
Block 304
Block 309

Incentives

The City of Hackensack has a number tools at its disposal to implement the Rehabilitation Plan, improve our infrastructure, streetscape, gateways, parks and open space, and parking structures with the long-term goal of remaking our downtown into a livable, walkable, and sustainable community.

In order to spur and foster catalyst development projects, the City of Hackensack will consider a number of financial, tax, and bonding options in accordance with furthering the goals of the Rehabilitation Plan.

The use of any financing or funding mechanisms will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the City Council to determine what is in the best interest of Hackensack.