Repost of an Article by The New York Times on May 29, 2018:
GLASSBORO, N.J. — Joseph A. Brigandi Jr. remembers when his father ran a sub shop in the heart of this southern New Jersey town in the 1960s, when there were only four or five restaurants downtown and no out-of-town shopping malls threatened the survival of local businesses.
What seemed an idyllic period for Mr. Brigandi’s hometown, where he is now the borough administrator, did not last. By the mid-1980s, many businesses had closed because they could not compete with the malls. Jobs disappeared, and some residents left for the suburbs. Downtown Glassboro became a crime-ridden area where most of the housing was subsidized or rented by students from Glassboro State College, which is now Rowan University.
“It was not a pleasant time or a safe time to be in Glassboro,” Mr. Brigandi, 61, said. “Because of what was going on, it affected the whole town. There was only a handful of businesses left that were still doing O.K.”
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