2021 Past Events

New Jersey Downtown Conference

  • Date and time: January 19th – 22nd
  • Location: Virtual
The premiere downtown economic development event of the year, the Annual Downtown Conference hosts industry experts who provide insights into downtown management best practices, as well as development, business and retail market trends. Recap and videos>


Cannabis is Coming, Are You Ready? (6/18/21)
  • Date and time: Friday, June 18th
  • Location: Virtual Meeting

We were joined by two experienced attorneys from Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP to discuss the implications of NJ’s Cannabis Law. Steven G. Mlenak, Partner, will explain what municipalities/downtowns need to know if they do (or don’t) want to allow dispensaries or consumption areas in their community. Jemi Lucey, Partner, will provide information about what your downtown employers need to know; in particular, enforcement and liability related to employee use of cannabis (on and off the job).

View PPT>
Watch Video>


Downtown Reinvention as a Road to Recovery
  • Date and time: Friday, June 11th
  • Location: Virtual event as part of 2021 NJ Planning & Redevelopment Conference

The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on our downtowns and business communities. Those who made a concerted effort to adapt and proactively support their small businesses have fared better than communities that took a laissez faire approach. Learn how five different communities – the City of New Brunswick, the Town of Clinton, Union Township, City of Summit, and the City of Lambertville – reinvented their downtowns to help their business communities survive. Find out about initiatives that worked, and some that did not.

This webinar is organized by DNJ as part of the 2021 NJ Planning & Redevelopment Conference. Video of this session is only available to registered attendees of that event.


COVID Lessons Learned: From Tactical to Practical
  • Date and time: Wednesday, June 2nd
  • Location: Virtual meeting as part of 2021 NJ Bike & Walk Summit

The pandemic spurred tremendous innovation in tactical approaches to expand the capacity of our streets to more safely accommodate people and commerce. These experiments validated the demand for complete streets that provide a better balance between roadway users. At the same time, many of these pilots highlighted real conflicts that need to be thought through more thoroughly if they are going to transition to permanent solutions. The session provided advice for those looking to transition from tactical to practical implementation of complete streets.

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This webinar was organized by DNJ as part of the 2021 NJ Bike & Walk Summit. View full program & watch videos>


What’s next for the retail real estate market? 1 year later…
  • Date and time: Friday, April 16th
  • Location: Zoom Online Meeting

It’s been a year since we were joined by Marta Person Villa, NJ Retail Lead and Senior Vice President with Jones Lang LaSalle and a former SID director, municipal administrator, and DNJ President. See what’s changed from the early days of the pandemic, and how that impacts “what’s next” for your downtown to recover from economic upheaval. Marta again shared recovery statistics showing current and imminent downtown retail occupancy conditions to map out a proactive recruitment strategy to expedite recovery.

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Preparing for the Post-Pandemic (Part 2)
  • Date and time: Friday, March 5th
  • Location: Zoom Online Meeting

NJ Department of Community Affairs’ Jef Buehler discussed best practices during a virtual walkthrough of downtown Frenchtown. During Part 2 of this two-part session, Jef will share experiences from Neighborhood Preservation Program initiatives throughout the state to highlight how communities can “Get Found” and “Be Open”. This presentation spurred a dialogue among forum participants about how to prepare downtown for recovery.

View PowerPoint>
Watch Part 2 Video>
(Part 2 only with forum participant discussion)

Watch Full Preparing for the Post-Pandemic Video>
(Part 1 & 2 combined without participant discussion)


Preparing for the Post-Pandemic (Part 1)
  • Date and time: Friday, February 19th
  • Location: Zoom Online Meeting

NJ Department of Community Affairs’ Jef Buehler discussed best practices during a virtual walkthrough of downtown Frenchtown. During Part 1 of this two-part session, Jef shared experiences from Neighborhood Preservation Program initiatives throughout the state to highlight how communities can “Get Together” and “Get Ready”. This presentation spurred a dialogue among forum participants about how to prepare downtown for recovery.

View PowerPoint>
Watch Part 1 Video>
(Part 1 only with forum participant discussion)

Watch Full Preparing for the Post-Pandemic Video>
(Part 1 & 2 combined without forum participant discussion)