When the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association announced its Great Places for 2013 Downtown Freehold was honored as one of the three best downtowns in the state.
“Clearly beloved by their communities, these downtowns have benefitted from ongoing planning and investments by both the public and private sectors,” the association’s website said. This is the second year the awards have been handed out recognizing downtowns and open spaces in the state. A press release said the sites are meant to be places that “thrive as testaments to forward-thinking planning that promotes community involvement, showcases unique natural features and diverse architectural styles, and fosters economic opportunity.”
Councilman George Schnurr said he was glad the borough was being recognized for its work done in recent years. “Business recruitment and retention is one of the Freehold Borough Council’s top priorities,” he said. “Many new businesses have come to town and existing business have shared with us their expansion plans. The recognition by the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association underscores our economic development efforts in conjunction with the fine work of the Freehold Center Partnership.”
Chapter President Charles Latini said the awards show what makes New Jersey such a special place to live. “From the South Hoboken Waterfront in Hoboken to Cooper River Park in Camden County, our 2013 Great Places reflect tremendous history, diversity and economic vitality.” He added, “We hope they will inspire other communities to envision, plan and create their own great places and thus, as a bonus, attract new investments that will strengthen their tax bases.”
Great Places Committee Chair Linda E. Wills said she was impressed by the work she saw in the award winning locations. “These Great Places display a wealth of best practices in community planning,” she said. “The Great Downtowns enjoy reputations for excellence that reach well beyond their communities’ borders. The high quality attractions and amenities offered by the Great Public Spaces draw thousands of visitors each year and, as a bonus, give an added boost to their local economies.”
The borough will be recognized with an awards presentation at the Hall of Records followed by a walking tour on Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon.