From the New York Times:
PATERSON — THIS is a city with a reputation for being old, gritty and tired, but it has a natural wonder that is mostly a secret to outsiders: magnificent waterfalls.
Now, Paterson’s energetic mayor and a fired-up developer envision a vibrant neighborhood near these falls. It would create hundreds of condos in restored factory buildings and new low-rise structures, new retail space, a public access cable television studio, a hotel, an amphitheater and a waterfront trail along the Passaic River.
The mayor, Jose Torres, is pushing hard to have the Great Falls of Paterson — the second largest by volume east of the Mississippi, after Niagara, according to the city — declared a national park. And he has set in motion a plan to secure a National Park Service grant to finance the cleanup and stabilization of the historic district around the falls, which was declared a state park in 2004.
Currently, the area immediately around the falls is desolate. It is occupied by the city dog pound, two warehouses, a run-down arena and several burnt-out husks of buildings that once served as textile mills.
But the developer, Dornoch Holdings of Morristown, has seized on the mayor’s view of the place as a natural gem in need of polishing and has produced plans for a large-scale redevelopment to be built in phases over the next five to seven years.
The Great Falls Historic District project would create a total of about 350 market-rate condominium units in restored and newly built structures and an 83,000-square-foot hotel-conference center where there are now faded industrial structures running along McBride Avenue that have spectacular waterfall views.
Mr. Fishman said various Columbia mill buildings would be restored to maintain their “historical character,” and turned into a dozen 900-square-foot one-bedroom homes; one three-bedroom home of 1,800 square feet; and 30 condos, each about 1,200 square feet. Some of the units would be intended as artist’s live-work space.
I am actually rather excited about this project, and not just because news on the real estate front this Friday has been slow. I just hope this project gets off the drawing board, it will give a much needed boost to the area. Could this be a first step towards Paterson gentrification?