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TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News August 10-16, 2019

A conceptual rendering of The Hub at New Brunswick Station. Image courtesy of DEVCO.


Weiss to Create Mixed-Use Hotel Development in Florence
Emily Bader, ROI-NJ, August 8, 2019
Weiss Properties President Robert Weiss recently unveiled plans for a mixed-use development in Florence Township, on a site within walking distance of Florence Station on the RiverLine light rail line. The project, located at the intersection of Route 130 and Cedar Lane, will include apartments, restaurant space, and a Marriot TownePlace Suites hotel. The Florence Township Planning Board approved the project in June. The ground breaking is scheduled for early 2020 pending approval from the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Murphy Signs Bill to Provide Redevelopment Designation for Stranded Malls, Office Parks
Joshua Burd, Real Estate NJ, August 12, 2019
Legislation recently signed by Governor Murphy has the potential to help revive “stranded assets” throughout the state by allowing municipalities to offer new incentives to redevelop vacant or underutilized commercial properties. In June, the State Assembly and Senate unanimously passed the measure, which expands the redevelopment area eligibility criteria to include retail centers, office parks, and other similar property that have had significant vacancies for at least two consecutive years.

Journal Square Transportation Center (ca 2011)

PANYNJ Seeks Input for Journal Square Transportation Center Redevelopment
NJBiz Staff, NJ Biz, August 14, 2019
On Wednesday, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey released a request for information (RFI) for the Journal Square Transportation Center redevelopment project in Jersey City. The Agency’s RFI seeks ideas for re-configuring and revamping the site to enhance customer service experience by creating a mixed-use community destination and investing in critical public transportation improvements. As one of the busiest transit hubs in the county, Journal Square Transportation Center provides commuters access to all 13 PATH stations as well as seven different bus operators.

18-Story Tower Could Bring Nearly 150 Units to Jersey City’s Econo-Car Site
Jared Kofsky, Jersey Digs, August 13, 2019
413 Summit Holding, LLC recently acquired the site of the vehicle rental company Econo-Car for $750,000. The developer proposes transforming the Summit Avenue site into an 18-story, mixed-use building. As proposed, the project would offer 148 resident units and ground floor retail. An underground parking facility would provide only 16 spaces, as it is expected that residents would rely on public transportation available at the nearby Journal Square Transportation Center. The Jersey City Planning Board must give Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan approvals for the project to move forward.

A conceptual rendering of The Hub at New Brunswick Station. Image courtesy of DEVCO.
A conceptual rendering of The Hub at New Brunswick Station. Image courtesy of DEVCO

Construction at The Hub in New Brunswick Should Start Within a Year
Chuck O’Donnell, Tap into New Brunswick, August 14, 2019
New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO) President Chris Paladino is hopeful that construction of the anticipated downtown project, The Hub, will break ground within a year. Palidino did not name partners for the first phase of construction, but highlighted efforts to recruit international academic institutions and businesses working in innovative fields. The project site is located directly across from the New Brunswick Station on the Northeast Corridor Line. The four-acre mixed-use redevelopment will feature flexible, built-to-suit capabilities and on-site parking.

Apartments Proposed for Former Bank Near Bloomfield’s Watsessing Avenue Station
Jared Kofsky, Jersey Digs, August 14, 2019
59 Dodd, LLC recently filed an application for the adaptive reuse of a former two-story bank branch building, located at 59 Dodd Street just yards away from the Watsessing Avenue Station on the NJ TRANSIT Montclair-Boonton Line. The developer is proposing to add a third floor, with 24 apartments on the second and new third floor and retail on the ground floor. The project is one of several proposed multi-family developments in the station area.

Division Street. Source: Somerville Downtown Alliance
Division Street. Source: Somerville Downtown Alliance

Somerville, N.J.: A Walkable Suburban Alternative
Jill P. Capuzzo, The New York Times, August 14, 2019
A decade of work by Somerville officials and others have contributed to the revival of the Borough’s downtown. Borough officials and NJ TRANSIT have worked closely to plan for redevelopment near the Somerville Station, leading to borough’s designation as a NJ Transit Village. The borough now offers a variety of housing options, and sales volume has picked up over the last year. The largest mixed-use development project in the downtown to date, on 31 acres adjacent to the station, is scheduled for completion in 2023.

NJ Transit Looks to Continue to Partner on TOD Projects
By John Jordan,, August 16, 2019
In an August 15th press release, NJ TRANSIT, the statewide public transportation agency, reaffirmed its commitment to transit-oriented development. NJ TRANSIT president and CEO Kevin Corbett noted a number of TOD projects that it has supported including The Link at Aberdeen Station, a new project at the Bayonne 34th Street Light Rail Station, and redevelopment adjacent Somerville Station. NJ TRANSIT has also identified opportunities in Bordentown, Bound Brook, Camden, Hoboken, Trenton, and other locations in the state. The agency has launched a website to share project documents with potential partners and the public.

Regional and National TOD News
An Uber taxi in Moscow. Image by user, licensed by CC BY-SA 4.0.
An Uber taxi in Moscow. Image by user, licensed by CC BY-SA 4.0

Uber Wants to Sell You Train Tickets. And Be Your Bus Service, Too.
Kate Conger, The New York Times, August 7, 2019
In an effort to expand the company’s growth, Uber has formed partnerships with cities and transit agencies in the United States, Canada, Britain, and Australia to provide a variety of services. The more than 20 partnerships include ticket purchase, transportation for people with disabilities, or substituting for a municipality’s public transportation system entirely. Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi is presently spearheading this initiative to transform Uber into the “Amazon of transportation”, a one-stop shop for car, bike, scooter, bus and train trips.

City Zoning Allows a 12-Story Building, 2,500 Apartments on Sequoia Station Site
Emily Mibach, Daily Post, August 11, 2019
Developer Lowe Enterprises of Los Angeles is working on plans to redevelop a shopping center located at El Camino Real and Jefferson Avenue. Redwood City’s zoning plan for the redevelopment area allows for a height of up to 12 stories and 2,500 apartments within the Mixed-Use Downtown Zone. The project would incorporate the existing CVS and Safeway stores.

Metra’s Cary Station on the Union Pacific Northwest Line. Image by user Cosmo1976, licensed under the public domain

Construction on Two Metra Stations Starts Up Again After State Funding Kicks In
Sara Freund, Curbed Chicago, August 12, 2019
Chicago’s Regional Transportation Authority plans to build a new Metra Electric Line Station at 95th Street, as well as new stations at Auburn Park near 79th Street on the Rock Island Line and the Peterson Ridge Station on the Union Pacific North Line. Metra was forced to put the two planned station projects on hold due to 2017 budget cuts. The agency will now use state capital bill funding to start work again on the stations. Construction of the Peterson Ridge station is anticipated to start this fall, and construction of the Auburn Park station is expected to begin in spring 2020.

Atlanta Developer Breaks Ground on 8-Building, 318-Apartment Complex on MAX Blue Line in Gresham
Elliot Njus, The Oregonian/Oregon Live, August 12, 2019
Atlanta developer Wood Partners broke ground on a 7.4-acre project at 1699 N.W. Civic Drive located adjacent to a MAX station near Gresham City Hall. Earlier this year, Wood Partners purchased the development site for $1,000 from the Metro Regional Government. The eight-building apartment complex will include 318 market-rate units in addition to a plaza and retail space as per an agreement with Metro’s Transit-Oriented Development Program.

A southbound SunRail train heading to downtown Orlando. Image by user Artystyk386, licensed by CC BY-SA 3.0.
A southbound SunRail train heading to downtown Orlando. Image by user Artystyk386, licensed by CC BY-SA 3.0.

Major Housing and Retail Development in The Works Around Kissimmee’s SunRail Station
Jenna Lyons, Orlando Weekly, August 13, 2019
O’Connor Capital Partners and Tupperware Brands Corporation are partnering together to develop a mixed-use, TOD project. The project site is located next to the Tupperware SunRail Station on Orange Avenue in Kissimmee, Florida. The development will comprise residential, retail, and office space along with a hotel. The first phase of the project is slated for completion by the end of 2021.

With Contract Approved to Extend Gold Line to Pomona, Officials Continue Push For San Bernardino County Connection
Steve Scauzillo, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, August 14, 2019
The Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority Board awarded a main design-construction contract to contractors Kiewit and Parsons. The contract is to extend the Gold Line light-rail into Pomona by 2025. Presently, Kiewit and Parsons plan to build the line out nine miles from Citrus Avenue in Glendora to Garey Avenue in Pomona. However, part of the approved contract includes a two-year option to extend the light rail farther out to Claremont and Montclair to bring a new transit option to commuters in the Inland Empire working in Pasadena and Los Angeles.

International TOD News
Bicycles parked outside of the Christianshavn Metro Station in Copenhagen. Image by user Boeing720, licensed by CC BY-SA 4.0.
Bicycles parked outside of the Christianshavn Metro Station in Copenhagen. Image by user Boeing720, licensed by CC BY-SA 4.0

Copenhagen Has Taken Bicycle Commuting to a Whole New Level
Erik Kirschbaum, Los Angeles Times, August 8, 2019
In 2012, Copenhagen City Council launched a 14-year plan to improve the quality, safety, and comfort of cycling. This past June, Copenhagen City Government reported that 62 percent of its residents commute to work or school by bicycle, a 26 percent increase from 2012. The City has pledged to be the world’s first carbon-neutral capital city by 2025 and is currently making a push to further improve the existing cycling infrastructure. Local reports note that there are more bikes than people in the city and five times as many bikes as cars.

London’s Farringdon Station entrance. Image by user Sunil060902, licensed by CC BY-SA 3.0.
London’s Farringdon Station entrance. Image by user Sunil060902, licensed by CC BY-SA 3.0

Hatton Garden’s Ragged School Building Set for Hotel and Office Development
Mark Caswell, Business Traveller, August 13, 2019
London’s Camden Council approved planning permission for the mixed-use Vine Hill development project. The development will include the restoration of a Victorian Ragged School Building into a new boutique hotel in London’s Hatton Garden District in addition to affordable housing and office space. The development will be located within walking distance of Farringdon Station.

Google Maps Integrates With Lime In More Than 100 Cities
SmartCitiesWorld News Team, Smart Cities News, August 13, 2019
Google Maps has launched a new feature that will display available Lime vehicles in over 100 cities throughout the US, Europe, South America, Australia and New Zealand. Google Map users will be able to view the availability of a Lime vehicle, how long it will take to walk to the vehicle, a price estimate for the ride, battery range, total journey times, and ETA through the mobile app. This feature is currently available for Android devices and will launch in late August for IOS devices.