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Downtown Paterson is the main commercial district of Paterson, Passaic County, New Jersey, United States, and was once a shopping mecca for northern New Jersey. Downtown Paterson is bounded by Straight Street on the east; Interstate 80, Route 19, Oliver Street, and Spruce Street on the south; the Passaic River, West Broadway, Cliff Street, North 3rd Street, Haledon Avenue, and the border with Prospect Park on the west; and the Passaic River also to the north.
After a devastating fire in 1902, the city rebuilt the downtown with massive Beaux-Arts-style buildings, many of which remain to this day. These buildings are usually four to seven stories tall. Downtown Paterson is home to City Hall and the Passaic County Courthouse Annex, two of the city's architectural landmarks. City Hall was designed by the New York firm Carrere and Hastings in 1894 and is modeled after the Hôtel de Ville (city hall) in Lyon, France, capital of the silk industry in Europe. Passaic County Community College and Paterson Broadway Bus Terminal are to the northeast. As with many other old downtown districts in the United States, Downtown Paterson suffered as shoppers and retailers moved to the suburban shopping malls of the region. However, Downtown Paterson is currently managed by a Special Improvement District (www.shoppaterson.org). Since the SID's inception in 1997, the Downtown Paterson central business district, comprising over 300 properties, has improved dramatically. Store front vacancies came down significantly, although due to today's down economy, the district is facing a 3-4% vacancy rate. Several new shop owners have begun to update their storefronts as well and invest in the beutification and modern layouts of their stores. For the most part, Downtown retailers are "mom and pop" retailers who employee local residents. Through the SID, the Businesses and Merchants of Downtown Paterson participate in many City activities with sponsorships such as the Great Falls Festival. Downtown retailers are the primary sponsor of the City's Annual 4th of July Fireworks show, one of Northern New Jersey's largest. Additionally, the SID plans and implements several events throughout the year, which take place in Downtown Paterson. Downtown SID employees, supplement the cleaning and safety services of the City by maintaining a "Clean and Safe" staff. These men and women, who are primarily from Paterson rid the sidewalks of litter, remove graffiti within 48 hours of being reported, and act as a neighborhood watch. They also provide directions and helpful information distribution to patrons of the shopping district. In addition, Downtown Paterson is an Urban Enterprise Zone, which means that participating stores sell merchandise at 3.5% sales tax, instead of the State of NJ 7% sales tax. The UEZ, also invested greatly in Downtown Paterson and the entire stretch of Main Street, with a beautification project. New street furniture such as benches, garbage cans, newspaper kiosks, bus shelters, clocks, bike racks, and more have been installed, all to make the shopping district more pleasant. Downtown Paterson's newest attraction, is Center City, which is a 320,000-square-foot (30,000 m2) shopping mall built at 301 Main Street. This project is about 75% leased and includes many national retailers such as Marshalls, Children's Place, Pay Half, GNC, Skechers Shoes, Pollo Campero, Nathan's as well as Fabian 8 Cinema, Planet 301 - Family Entertainment with arcades, bowling, laser tag, and party rooms for rent. PSE&G has a payment center on the Clark Street side of the mall. The mall also has over 600 indoor parking spots for customers and visitors.
Hamilton & Ward Steakhouse is located on 101 Ward Street at Center City. Rated Four Stars by the Wall Street Journal, Star Ledger, and the Daily News, it offers 28-day dry aged Prime steaks, a refined wine selection and event rooms that can seat up to 500 persons.
Located on Van Houten Street you will find a massive Mosque, Masjid Jalalabad, which can accommodate 1,500 worshippers. Next to the mosque is a Bengali ethnic store where one can find Halal meat, fish, Bengali groceries and more.
The Central Business District of Paterson is the area between the Dublin area and Wrigley Park, closest to the Passaic River. The areas along Market Street and Main Street are some of the busiest and largest commercial districts in Paterson and have a diverse ethnic makeup with a large Dominican, Puerto Rican, and Mexican population.
Paterson Downtown Commercial Historic District
|Location||Roughly bounded by Patterson, Ward and Gross Streets, and Hamilton Avenue|
|Area||41 acres (17 ha)|
|Architect||Carrere, John Mervin; et al.|
|Architectural style||Beaux Arts, Romanesque|
|NRHP Reference #||99000192|
|Added to NRHP||February 12, 1999|
|Designated NJRHP||December 15, 1998|
Many places that are on the National Register of Historic Places listings in Passaic County, New Jersey are located in Paterson, and several are located Downtown including Paterson Downtown Commercial Historic District, roughly bounded by Patterson, Ward and Gross Streets, and Hamilton Avenue
, Paterson City Hall at 155 Market Street
was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 12, 1999.Public School Number Two at Mill and Passaic Streets.
The area near the u-shape Spruce Street and McBride Avenue is part of a redevelopment area of the Great Falls Historic District. The northern section of Ellison and Mill Streets, which are downriver from the falls are also part of this area and are usually considered part of Downtown.
Dublin, considered the first neighborhood of Paterson, was built up around the mills near Great Falls. The area, which is responsible for the early growth of Paterson, has a rich history and has had a diverse and changing ethnic makeup. Originally settled by Irish immigrants, the neighborhood has seen waves of English, Italians and more recently Hispanic immigrants. The Dublin area today incorporates parts of Great Falls Historic District and the area on Market Street, which has a large Peruvian and Argentine population today.
Wrigley Park is the northern section of downtown, north of Broadway and to the east of the Passaic River. Wrigley Park is a predominately African-American community and is mostly residential. The area is considered to be one of the more dangerous sections of Paterson along with areas of The Northside, although the crime-rate has declined gradual in recent years.
Northside is a mostly residential neighborhood on the north bank of the Passaic River. The neighborhood stretches back to Paterson's borders with Haledon and Prospect Park. The neighborhoods on this side of the river are up a steep hill that gives many of the houses and streets in the northside great views of Manhattan.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
- "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places - Passaic County". New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection - Historic Preservation Office. January 10, 2010. p. 12. Retrieved April 8, 2010.