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TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News January 28-February 3, 2023

President Biden showcases Hudson Tunnel grant (left);  DC Metro plans to boost service (top right);  California announces three state sites for adaptive reuse into affordable TOD housing (bottom left)

West Hingham Station on the MBTA’s Greenbush Line. Pottewa | English Wikipedia

Article of the Week

MASSACHUSETTS—Suburbs Face Their First Deadline for New Transit-Oriented Zoning Law
Christian MilNeil, Streetsblog Mass, Jan 30, 2023
By the end of January, each of 175 Massachusetts municipalities are to submit an action plan to comply with the state’s new zoning requirement calling for multi-family housing in areas near MBTA rail station and bus routes. For suburbs that permit only single-family housing, the measure requires new zoning of at least 15 homes per acre in areas within a half-mile of transit facilities. Towns that fail to comply would lose eligibility for certain state funding programs, such as MassWorks infrastructure grants.


President Joe Biden speaks about the Hudson Tunnel Project, Jan 31, 2023. Edwin J. Torres | NJ Governor’s Office

President Biden Highlights $292 Million Mega Grant for Hudson Tunnel
Associated Press, News12 New Jersey, Jan 31, 2023
As part of his effort to showcase the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and its support of infrastructure improvements, President Joe Biden joined with the governors of New Jersey and New York to draw attention to the $292 million grant that will be used to help build a new rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River between the two states. The grant is part of $1.2 billion allocated under the 2021 infrastructure law. The project will renovate the 1910 tunnel, a long-delayed upgrade that went underfunded for years, and is one of a number of improvements that will be made to maintain and enhance the link to New York City.The American, Morris Plains, NJ. Under construction, August 2022.

The American, Morris Plains, NJ. Under construction, August 2022. Courtesy of JMF Properties

MORRIS PLAINS—New Morris Plains Luxury Rental Units Will Have Walkway to Train Station, Downtown
William Westhoven, Morristown Daily Record, Jan 30, 2023
The American, a rental development under construction near the NJ TRANSIT Morris Plains Station, will begin leasing on March 1. The project comprises 125 units, with 50 units to be offered as affordable units. Construction of a new pedestrian walkway will shorten the walking distance between the housing and the Morris Plains town center and station.

17 Summit St, East Orange, NJ. Google Streetview

EAST ORANGE—$11.9 Million Sale of Two Historic Multifamily Properties in Prime East Orange Location
Yield Pro, Jan 26, 2023
Two rental properties located near the NJ TRANSIT East Orange Station recently sold. Located a third of a mile from the station, the 17 Summit Street Apartments is a four-story building constructed in 1926, comprising 35 one-bedroom and 7 two-bedroom units that sold for $5.1 million. The 52-unit 60 North Arlington Avenue Apartments, located less than a quarter mile from the station, includes a mix of 30 one-bedroom, 17 two-bedroom and 4 three-bedroom units and 1 four-bedroom unit. The updated building sold for $6.8 million. According to the broker, “the city is undergoing an impressive revitalization with more than $1 billion in development activity in the works. The buyer recognized the tremendous upside potential of these properties, as well as unparalleled proximity to the station.”

Transit and Equity News

Employment Development Department Office Building (SacRT 8th & Capitol Station). Google Streetview

CALIFORNIA—Governor Newsom Announces Three State Sites Identified for Affordable Transit-Oriented Housing in Sacramento
Press Announcement, Office of the Governor, Jan 31, 2023
The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and the California Department of General Services (DGS) are seeking qualified developers to transform state-owned properties into housing. HCD and DGS issued a Request for Qualifications (RFP) to redevelop three state office buildings. The three buildings are located along the Capitol Mall in downtown Sacramento and in close proximity to the Blue and Green Sacramento Regional Transit light rail lines. In 2020, a DGS-commissioned study of the EDD headquarters found that adaptive reuse of the buildings could produce nearly 400 one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes for lower-income households. The Request for Qualifications can be found here.

Detached ADU. Courtesy of Sightline Institute

Senior Housing That Seniors Actually Like
Paula Span, The New York Times, Jan 29, 2023
Granny flats, in-laws’ suites, or ADUs (accessory dwelling units) are increasingly recognized as a cost-effective and socially beneficial way to meet the housing needs of senior and younger folks alike. Moreover, adding ADUs to suburban locations can add housing capacity within the existing footprint in the form of what is sometimes known as “gentle density.”

Regional and National TOD News

DeBaliviere Ave, St. Louis, MO. March 2022. Google Streetview

MISSOURI—$90M Mixed-Use Development Opens Near Forest Park
Gloria Lloyd, KSDK News, Jan 30, 2023
A $90 million mixed-use, transit-oriented complex built on the site of a former parking lot at a MetroLink station is now fully open with the completion of its second seven-story apartment building. The first building opened in August 2022. The project comprises a total of 287 apartments, and will feature 30,000 sq. ft. of ground-floor retail that will house a full-service grocery store. The site is northwest of the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Transit Center, served by both the MetroLink Red and Blue light rail lines.

dwight9592 | Adobe Stock

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA—Metro Outlines Plan to Boost Service Levels Beginning in February
Metro plans to boost train frequency during peak hours to better serve the riders who are returning to using the service. The change reflects Metro’s efforts to rebuild its customer base, make up for fares lost to telework, and plan service to meet new pandemic-era demands. Increasing service during the middle part of the workweek accommodates ridership demand that now peaks on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays as riders continue to utilize working-from-home arrangements.

International TOD News

Blackhorse View – Waltham Forest. Courtesy of TfL

UNITED KINGDOM—TfL: Accelerating the Adoption of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) in the UK
Anjina Farmah, TransportXtra, Jan 30 2023
Transport for London (TfL) recently formed a property development company, TTL Properties Ltd (TTLP), which has been tasked with building thousands of new homes and developing multi-use spaces throughout London. Anjna Farmah, Property Development Manager at TTPL, discusses the benefits of building transit-oriented neighborhoods and making development decisions that take into account the long-term needs of the regions. Moreover, revenues generated from development are to be reinvested into the city’s transportation network.

Chennai, India. 2018. karthikeyan | Adobe Stock

INDIA—Transit-Oriented Development to Transform Anna Salai Soon
Vivek Narayanan, Times Property Group, Jan 16, 2023
With the completion of Phase 1 of the Chennai Metro in Chennai (Madras), Tamil Nadu, the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) has begun efforts to support development along the route. The CMDA has formed seven teams to plan for transit-oriented development (TOD) along the Blue Line from Tambaram to Thousand Lights, on a stretch that follows Anna Salai, a more than 400-year-old route which is now the location of considerable commercial and public enterprise.