Jersey City Mayor Seeks to Limit Chain Stores Downtown

Proposal is intended to protect local shops; critics say free market is the best solution

Josh Dawsey of The Wall Street Journal reports on Mayor Fulop’s push to limit chain stores in downtown JC.

Stella's restaurant on Grove Street in Jersey City, N.J., has been owned by the Ioakimidis family since 1976. PHOTO: PETER FOLEY FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Stella’s restaurant on Grove Street in Jersey City, N.J., has been owned by the Ioakimidis family since 1976. PHOTO: PETER FOLEY FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Under the new rules, only 30% of commercial space downtown could be rented to a business that has 10 other properties within 300 miles of Jersey City, according to a proposed draft.

Since many of the best-known chain stores and restaurants have many more properties than that, Mr. Fulop is trying to dramatically limit chain businesses.

“Applebee’s isn’t exactly a food destination that attracts people from all over the region,” Mr. Fulop said. He added: “We don’t want every retail space to become a Gap, TGI Fridays or a Starbucks.”

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