New and Newsworthy from July 2018
Recent news and notes on transit-oriented development trends here in New Jersey and beyond.
First phase begins on The Brownstones
Rahway Rising, June 27, 2018
Almost three years after demolition of the former Wheatena buildings, construction has begun on the first phase of a four-building, 487-unit rental development. Linden-based Capodagli Property Company secured a $31-million loan for the first phase of the development, which is expected to result in 172 units.
NJ suburbs cool again? Millennials and others return for affordable homes
By Michael J. Diamond, Asbury Park Press, July 2, 2018
An anticipated report from Rutgers shows the region’s migration patterns are changing. Preliminary data indicates the population expansion in New York City and contraction in New Jersey’s suburbs experienced during the early part of the decade have started to slow and, in some places, reverse course.
NJ real estate: Why apartments keep being built in Central Jersey
by Pamela MacKenzie, Bridgewater Courier News, July 13, 2018
While long-standing preferences for single-family homes made apartment construction a very low priority for developers, this mindset has recently changed, as millennials graduate from college and start settling into their first homes. Alert developers anticipating this trend are now reaping the benefits of their vision, and plan thousands more apartments throughout Central Jersey.
Trading parking spaces for green spaces: Montclair is following the ‘parklets’ trend
By Matt Kadosh, NorthJersey, July 13, 2018
With sponsor support, the Montclair Business Improvement District will convert two parallel parking spaces on Glenridge Avenue and two spaces on Walnut Street into parklets, small parks designed to bring seating or green space into urban areas. The mini-parks are anticipated for later this month and will remain in place until the end of October.
100 Units Planned Near Orange/West Orange Border
By Jared Kofsky, Jersey Digs, July 16, 2018
A new multi-family residential development with 55 affordable rental units will be constructed near the Highland Avenue Station in Orange with support from HUD’s HOME program.
Developer Touts Redevelopment Plans for Hoboken Railyard
By Jared Kofsky, Jersey Digs, July 16, 2018
The Hoboken Terminal complex serves as a hub for passenger trains, PATH subways, local buses, light rail vehicles, and ferry service. Interest in this valuable real estate, situated between Hoboken’s downtown and the Newport Mall in Jersey City, has grown, despite it being increasingly prone to flooding.
Could Jersey City’s Slow Office Market Drag Down Its Hot Multifamily Sector?
By Matthew Rothstein, Bisnow Philadelphia, July 19, 2018
According to a new industry report, the Gold Coast—the stretch of waterfront along the Hudson River opposite of Manhattan—faces declining rent and increased vacancies in its office market. Developers have expressed concern about the public transit system overloaded at rush hours and advise that Jersey City needs to become more self-sufficient to maintain multifamily growth.
Commuters will be able to use e-scooters at this N.J. train station
By Larry Higgs, NJ.com, July 24, 2018
The Borough of Madison and Boxcar Inc., a company that provides bus trips and parking through its app, are offering the state’s first electric-powered scooters for commuters through a joint venture. E-scooters are being marketed for users to travel the “first and last mile” between train stations and home.
Research: MF Development Has Bigger Impact on Schools Than Believed
By Steve Lubetkin, GlobeSt.com, July 24, 2018
New research from The Center for Real Estate at Rutgers Business School critiques the “one size fits all” model for determining the impact of multifamily construction on local school capacity. The study reports findings from a survey of developers and property managers and refines the expected number of school-age children in rental housing according to building type (low-, mid-, and high-rise), number of bedrooms in a housing unit, household income, and market-rate vs. affordable units.
Regional, National & International News
Every city can be a transit city, regardless of density
By Owain James, Mobility Lab, July 3, 2018
The reason some cities have fewer people who take the bus may have less to do with culture and more to do with the city’s infrastructure quality.
Graywood developments give Toronto Midtown West New Look
By Marc Shaw, Property Biz Canada, July 3, 2018
St. Clair Avenue in Toronto’s Midtown West neighborhood is the site of new residential and mixed-use developments. The transit-oriented community is already the site of bus and streetcar lines and will have a Greater Toronto-Hamilton area GO Transit station, and commuter rail transit station in its center within 2-3 years.
L.A. will allow more dense development near five Expo Line stations
By Laura J. Nelson, The Los Angeles Times, July 3, 2018
The Los Angeles City Council approved plans Tuesday to allow taller residential and commercial buildings near five Expo Line stations on the Westside, setting a possible precedent for future decisions about development along the region’s growing Metro rail network. The zoning plan represents a compromise between housing advocates and neighborhood groups, which clashed over how much growth should occur along the area’s major roads, many of which are dotted with low-slung commercial strips, gas stations and industrial sites.
Metropolitan Council Releases Update to $92 Billion Transportation Plan
By Olivia Anderson-Blythe, AlphaNewsMN, July 5, 2018
The St. Paul area Metropolitan Council recently released its 2018 update to the 2040 Transportation Policy Plan, in an effort to better align the plan with Thrive MSP 2040, the council’s long-term plan for development in the seven-county region. The recent update focuses on the development of high-density, multi-use housing around existing or planned public transportation hubs.
One year later, Hicksville’s downtown gears up
By Gregory Zeller, Innovate Long Island, July 5, 2018
Hicksville, a census-designated hamlet within the Town of Oyster Bay, was named the recipient of the $10 million New York Downtown Revitalization Initiative in August 2017. Four “transformational projects” for downtown have been announced that will focus on “strategic, transit-oriented development investments” designed to increase access to public transportation, redevelop underutilized properties, introduce new mixed-use infrastructure (including residential and retail uses), increase parking options and improve Hicksville’s downtown area, according to the governor’s office.
Town of Fairfield previews potential transit-oriented development
By Phil Hall, West Fair Online, July 6, 2018
The Fairfield Town Plan and Zoning Commission teamed with the Fairfield Economic Development Commission to host a public meeting on June 26 that offered a preview of transit-oriented development (TOD) connected to two of the town’s Metro-North train stations.
LA Needs Transit Oriented Districts, Not Transit Oriented Development
By Dick Platkin, CityWatchLA, July 12, 2018
Former LA city planner Dick Platkin argues TOD needs to be reframed as Transit Oriented Districts. This could result in making non-automobile transportation modes cheaper and more accessible, and could redefine “development” as something that leads to extensive upgrades to public infrastructure and services.
Reimagining Transportation in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic
By Bruce Ho, NRDC, July 19, 2018
NRDC has released a new report, Transportation Reimagined: A Roadmap for Clean and Modern Transportation in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Region, to help the states—and their citizens—fulfill their pledge of developing a regional plan to clean up and modernize transportation.
Ranking cities on access to jobs by transit
TODresources.org, July 20, 2018
A new report looks at how many jobs are accessible by transit in 49 of the most populated U.S. metro areas since 2015.
9 Boston transportation changes that should give commuters hope
By Tom Acitelli, Curbed Boston, July 23, 2018
Roomier trains, expanded bus service and electric scooters are just a few of the projects moving forward in the Boston area that could give commuters more hope for a more congestion-free and less stressful future. Some changes have already occurred, such as the expansion of the Silver Line, while others are on the horizon.
Studies: Mass Transit Driving Atlanta Office Development
By Steve Lubetkin, GlobeSt.com, July 24, 2018
While a new real estate industry report shows more than half of new construction in Atlanta is within one-half mile of a MARTA station, another study shows vacancy in transit-accessible properties averaging 30% below transit-accessible properties in other major metropolitan cities.
Transit agencies tackle first- and last-mile challenges
By Julie Sneider, Progress Railroading, July 2018
To overcome the “first-mile, last-mile” challenge and help riders travel short distances to/from stations or stops, U.S. transit agencies use numerous strategies such as: partnering with transportation network companies (TNCs), improving bicycle access to stations and on vehicles; upgrading signage at stations; organizing local shuttle or van services; and supporting local infrastructure improvements via TOD.