A troubled East End neighborhood is moving closer to the renewal promised about eight years ago.
The Planning Board reviewed a study Thursday that is a major step in the redevelopment process. Conducted by Nishuane Group, the study measured every property on East Second Street between Leland and Johnston avenues against state criteria for redevelopment and found many examples of obsolescence and neglect. The neighborhood is in the Urban Enterprise Zone, which alone can be a determinant for redevelopment.
Still, Planning Director Bill Nierstedt said the neighborhood had come a long way since the push for renewal began. It has a very active community group and now has a new road, sidewalks and curbs. A dilapidated former meat market has been demolished and a developer is seeking approvals for a new three-story, 20-unit building on the site.
The board had discussed the East Second Street Neighborhood Commercial District in July, but Nierstedt asked the Planning Board members to visit the site in person before voting on the study. A public hearing on the study will be held at the Aug. 18 board meeting, 7:30 p.m. in City Hall Library, 515 Watchung Ave., after which the board may vote to accept the study and forward it to the City Council. The council may then request the board to prepare a redevelopment plan.
With interest in Plainfield growing, Nierstedt told the board to expect three more studies and two redevelopment plans by the end of the year. In addition, 20 applications are pending.
"There's a lot going on," he said.