tod forum logo dnj web 2023 05 18 01

Retail and Redevelopment:
Attract and Retain Local Businesses in Your Downtown
Thursday, May 18, 10:00AM-12:00PM
(Registration, Networking, & Refreshments at 9:30AM )
Edward J. Bloustein School – Special Events Forum

This event, hosted by Downtown New Jersey,, and NJ TRANSIT’s Transit Friendly Planning (TFP) Program brought together a panel of experts from public and private entities to discuss their experiences in attracting and retaining local businesses in downtowns across New Jersey. Retail businesses are essential to the life and vibrancy of Main Street and TOD alike, but attracting and also retaining these businesses, especially local businesses, can be challenging in uncertain and turbulent economic times. In recent years, many communities have taken creative approaches to adapt to rapidly changing retail trends to ensure retail spaces are filled and stay open. Panelists shared regional best practices on how to attract and retain local businesses, maximize the use of ground-floor commercial space in TOD, better connect transit and local retail through wayfinding, and create unique community events in an effort to revitalize downtowns.

Welcome & Introduction:

  • Stephanie DiPetrillo, RU-VTC /
  • Courtenay Mercer, Executive Director, Downtown New Jersey


  • Chris Colley, Principal, Topology
  • Jim Donio, Town Advocate, Town of Hammonton
  • Melissa Hodge, Executive Director, South Orange Downtown
  • Marta Person Villa, Senior Vice President of Retail Services, CBRE


  • Jef Buehler, Municipal & District Revitalization Manager, NJ Business Action Center

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