291-297 Halladay Street...
...is Garden State Episcopal Community Development Corporation’s first home ownership project in the Morris Canal Section of Jersey City. It involved the new construction of 4 two family homes for moderate income buyers and renters. This project is made possible through the investment of the Jersey City Division of Community Development with a grant from the HOME Investment Partnership Program in the amount of $1,089,000 and through the acquisition of the vacant lots at nominal cost from the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency. Construction financing is being provided by TD Bank. Each of the homes includes a 3BR/2.5BTH duplex unit for the home owner with a bonus family room and a 3 BR rental. Each of the homes will be sold for $250,000 to first time home buyers. To date, GSECDC has built 240 units of affordable housing by redeveloping 93 scattered sites throughout Jersey City.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on at 297 Halladay on Monday March 10, 2014. In attendance was Ward F Councilwoman Diane Coleman, Senator Sandra Cunningham, Executive Director of Morris Canal CDC June Jones, Assistant Executive Director of Jersey City Redevelopment Authority Chris Fiore, Jersey City Mayor's Aide Doug Carlucci, and TD Bank representatives including Pat DiSanto.
Currently, three of the four homes are under contract with a the fourth soon to be under contract this week. All buyers are from Ward F and two are from the Morris Canal neighborhood.
This site is dedicated to:
Benjamin (April 14th 1916- 1983) & Queen Esther Thomas (October 5th 1917- March 10th 2007)
Queen Esther Hogan was married to Benjamin Thomas and together they opened a restaurant on 572/574 Grand Avenue called “Queen & Ben’s” in the 1950’s. It was very rare to see an African American owned business. In addition they were owners of the neighborhood store located on the corner of 125 Maple Street and Halladay Street. Raising 4 sons Benjamin, Bernard, Ballard (deceased) and Bryan Thomas. Three served the United States of America as decorated Air Force officers in Vietnam. The Thomas family regularly fed the hungry and provided assistance when residents required legal information teaching them how to establish credit. In the 1950’s social services weren’t available and the Thomas family offered assistance utilizing 125 Maple Street on the weekends to provide dental care for neighborhood children free of charge. Queen Esther Thomas became politically active in 1954 and was the district committee person. In 1955 she ran in a very close race for a seat in the state assembly becoming the first African American woman to run for this office. Millionaire mogul Malcolm Forbes creator and founder of Forbes Magazine was compelled to send Queen Esther a personal telegram congratulating her on a well fought race.
Queen Esther Thomas was an active member and usherette at Monumental Baptist Church for many years. The marriage union between this loving couple lasted 46 years before Benjamin passed away in 1983. Queen Esther departed Jersey City to spent her golden years in North Carolina and then eventually being laid to rest in Arizona with each one of her surviving sons by her side. Always community first, without fanfare, Benjamin and Queen Esther Thomas are being recognized for the unselfish commitment to the community and the people they sincerely loved in the Lafayette-Greenville community.