A Project to Beautify the Long Branch Business Community (VIDEO)
Hundreds of people drive through Montgomery County every day, but in Long Branch they see colorful scenes, flowers, and freshly painted buildings; all part of a face-lift project that’s underway in the community.
This project is set to transform the Flower Shopping Center on Flower Avenue and help revitalize the Long Branch business area.
Paul Grenier, coordinator of the Long Branch Business League, said besides the beautification project, the league has also taken arts and part of this initiative. Five murals have been designed and completed by local and national artists, and another is on the way. This commercial area has more than 80 local stores.
“The area of Long Branch has been an area in which in economic senses had more challenges than pretty much any other area of the county. … The county’s goal in supporting the Long Branch Business League was really to try to do something to help commercially revitalize this area,” Grenier said.
Local artists Kate Deciccio and Rose Jaffe will work on another mural. They spoke with business owners and residents and decided to create a mural that portrays the community’s diversity and workforce.
“For this mural, after talking to a lot of people we were really struck by how Long Branch is a community that [is] really characterized by lots of small businesses … Early on in the morning, the buses are filled with people who are going to the city to work. So we are thinking about, how can we celebrate the contributions of labor,” Deciccio said adding the mural should be completed in the next two weeks.
This area is also a neighborhood where many immigrants come from all over the world, according to business league officials.
“We must have sixty-five different ethnic groups in this area. So we have all kinds of people, and we want to represent that; that’s who we are,” said Art Cobb, member of the arts committee and treasurer of the Long Branch Business League.
The revitalization project is funded by the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, Harvey Management, and Finmarc Management. The cost of this project is approximately $150,000 dollars.