State Lawmakers Tout Public-Private Partnerships as Way to Revive Cities

November 20, 2015 NJSpotlight

John Reitmeyer

From the new “Campus Town” at The College of New Jersey in Ewing to the extensive efforts involving Rutgers University that have remade downtown New Brunswick, partnerships between the private sector and government entities like public colleges have proven to be an effective redevelopment tool in New Jersey.

Now, a new redevelopment effort is trying to replicate that success in Atlantic City, and a group of state senators is exploring whether the time has come for New Jersey laws to be updated to make it even easier for government entities to work with the private sector, whether it’s redeveloping college housing or even building new infrastructure as the state struggles to find a stable source of funding for road, bridge and rail projects.

“They work,” said state Sen. Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic) during a forum held yesterday in Atlantic City in conjunction with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities’ annual convention. “They put people to work, they build things.”

“They’re economic development generators,” Whelan said.