To help preserve, protect, and nurture the economic and cultural vitality of downtown Caldwell through the creation of public and private partnerships.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Your Avenue to a Vibrant Downtown

We all choose to live, dine, shop, do business, or worship in Caldwell for good reason – it’s a pretty special place.  We’re a village rich in history with a strong sense of community and pride.   Whether Caldwell is your home or your destination, this is your downtown, your “Main Street”.

But like many downtowns across the country, time is taking its toll on our charm and on our vitality.  Our age spots are starting to show through as peeling curbs and lampposts, dead and missing street trees, worn or dirty storefronts, and cigarette butts and graffiti around our bus stops.  As traffic increases and cars fail to make way for pedestrians, it makes it harder to cross the street and enjoy another shop. Some of our local businesses are struggling or closing, forcing us out of town for the amenities we want.

You can make a difference.  

It’s easy to complain and expect someone else to turn things around. But the truth is that no single entity – government, nonprofit, civic or religious organization, or other – can do this alone.  Case studies of successful revitalization efforts reach a common conclusion - it takes a community.  And with a community like Caldwell and our neighbors, it can be done.

With this absolute belief, the Caldwell Downtown Alliance launched “Project Main Street” earlier this year.  This completely volunteer, non-profit and non-governmental initiative is working to restore Caldwell’s cultural and economic vitality collaboratively through public and private partnerships. Project Main Street volunteers are your neighbors, your shopkeepers, and people like you who want to make a difference but aren’t sure how. Join us! Project Main Street is your avenue to a vibrant downtown.

While we’ll continue to work to bring you the Caldwell Farmer’s Market and wonderful community events like Winterland,  Project Main Street volunteers are rolling up our sleeves on many new efforts.  We’re raising money now to buy hanging flower baskets for our lampposts and implement other streetscape improvements beginning this summer. We’ve been working on signage guidelines and researching successful historic preservation efforts.  We’ve presented the NJ Complete Streets Program, a multi-faceted approach to a pedestrian friendly downtown, to our Mayor & Council for their consideration.  We’ve been actively involved in the plans to transform the borough green into a more usable space. We’re in the process of building a team to focus on attracting the right mix of businesses, cultural venues and the arts to Caldwell. And we’ve only just begun!

This August, Project Main Street will be sponsoring a “Caldwell Beautification Weekend” and we’d love to have you, your organization, business, house of worship, or school class join us! Help us build this effort from the ground up by sharing your ideas through one of our local papers, on our Project Main Street facebook page, on our blog:, by email or by calling 973-228-8900.  Help turn those ideas into reality by volunteering or rallying a team to take on a project.  Sponsor the event or donate supplies. Merchants and landlords - plan some improvements or host special events for that weekend. Together, we can make a difference!

Project Main Street… YOUR avenue to a vibrant downtown!

Tickets are still available for Project Main Street’s “Caldwell Beautification Dinner” on May 23 at Luce.  Treat yourself to a wonderful meal, fine wine, and great entertainment with your tax deductable contribution to this effort. 50/50 tickets will be available through May 22 at many downtown businesses, including: Saplings, Caldwell Flowerland, Rock n Joe, Smith & Co., D. Marie Home, David Chad Beauty Parlor, Bari's Baubles, Somewhere in Time, Fruit Basket King, Glow Salon, The Beauty Source, Minuteman Press, Coldwell Banker, Vila Meat, Caldwell Seafood and Luce Restaurant.

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