Sunday, May 19, 2024
TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News April 6-12, 2024

NJ’s new affordable housing rules (left); Perth Amboy launches $110M waterfront redevelopment; Court tells wealthy town it’ll decide affordable housing location; A way to make transit-oriented housing easier to develop; Mixed-use is reshaping Kenya (right top-to-bottom)

Article of the Week

Konstantin L | Adobe Stock

New Affordable Housing Rules in NJ Spark Hope That 2 Decades of Problems Will End
Katherine Dailey, Politico, April 9 2024
New Jersey has introduced new affordable housing legislation designed to address longstanding housing needs and to relieve the courts of handling disputes. Supported by Gov. Phil Murphy, the new law seeks to clarify municipal housing obligations and promote construction, a process that was first mandated in the 1990s and that has stagnated since then. It also formally dissolves the Council on Affordable Housing and transfers power to the state’s Department of Community Affairs—who will now oversee the closure of a 214,000-unit shortage of affordable rental units.


Perth Amboy Mayor Helmin Caba in an excavator as work begins. Courtesy of the Perth Amboy Redevelopment Agency

PERTH AMBOY—Toxic Site Along Perth Amboy Waterfront Undergoing $110 Million Redevelopment
Staff Writer, My Central Jersey, April 11 2024
Perth Amboy’s Gateway project is underway. Led by Viridian Partners, the $110 million initiative aims to revitalize a neglected area near the Route 35 Victory Bridge. It includes demolishing old structures, cleaning contaminated land, and creating space for a 500,000 sq. ft. warehouse, passive recreation, and nine acres of future development. The project promises jobs, tax revenue, and community benefits, supported by programs like New Jersey’s Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit.

1500 Clinton Street rendering. Courtesy of MHS Architecture

HOBOKEN—Hoboken Approves 382-Unit Mixed-Use Development on Clinton Street
Chris Fry, Jersey Digs, April 10 2024
The Hoboken Planning Board recently approved a two-building development at 1500 Clinton Street, located at the northern end of the city. The project, which aligns with the North End Redevelopment Plan, will feature buildings of 8 and 12 stories with a total of 382 residential units, ground floor retail, a community flex space potentially for a new library branch, and 183-space parking garage. The project will also connect to a proposed 423-unit development, still under review by the Planning Board.

Transit and Equity News

Courtesy of RDM Group

MILLBURN—Court Tells Wealthy NJ Town: We’ll Decide Where You’ll Put Affordable Housing
Mike Hayes, Gothamist, April 10 2024
A judge has intervened in Millburn, New Jersey’s affordable housing dispute, appointing a special master to determine the location for 75 affordable units after local leaders failed to comply with a prior agreement. The affluent township, known for its high property values, faces accusations of stalling by the Fair Share Housing Center, which argues the community has avoided its affordable housing responsibilities. Despite Millburn’s efforts to propose alternative sites, the judge has ordered the township to adhere to the previous agreement or face potential sanctions.

River Greenwalk. Rhodeside and Harwell; South Orange website

SOUTH ORANGE—South Orange Mayor Talks About River Greenway Project & Fair Share Housing
Elise Margulis, TAPintoSOMA, April 9 2024
During a village council meeting, South Orange Mayor Sheena Collum discussed phase 3 of the River Greenway Project and its implications for Fair Share Housing opportunities. The Village, NJ TRANSIT, and a developer are in negotiations for the project, which will address the gap between South Orange Avenue and Third Street, near the South Orange Station. Plans call for office space and affordable housing to meet upcoming obligations.

The Harrison Senior Residence. Courtesy of the Domus Corporation

CAMDEN—Apartments Officially Open as Latest Ablett Village Development
Neill Borowski, TAP Into, April 4 2024
The Harrison, a $16.3-million senior housing development, has recently opened in Camden’s Cramer Hill neighborhood. Situated within the Ablett Village redevelopment initiative, aimed at replacing an aging public housing structure with modern townhouse-style residences, The Harrison offers 55 brand-new units, of which 6 are designated for formerly unhoused seniors. Its strategic location near multiple bus stops and the Salvation Army Kroc Center enhances accessibility for residents. The building features amenities such as medical facilities and a fitness center. Funding totaling $35 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, coupled with a $13.9 million tax credit equity from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, supported construction.

Mayor Jim Cahill, New Brunswick Housing and Redevelopment Agency Chair Zach Michael Wright, and other officials at the groundbreaking. Courtesy of the City of New Brunswick

NEW BRUNSWICK—Cahill, Others Break Ground on 53-Unit Affordable Housing Project in New Brunswick
Chuck O’Donnell, TAP Into, April 4 2024
Developers have begun construction on Stirlingside Residences, a 53-unit, five-story affordable housing project at 50 Neilson Street in New Brunswick. The 84,745-sq. ft. development will feature 10 one-, 30 two-, and 13 three-bedroom units, with six units designated for formerly unhoused individuals. Additional amenities include a community room and bicycle storage. The project, located one block from a stop on the NJ TRANSIT 815 and 818 bus routes and about 0.6 miles from the New Brunswick Train Station, was first proposed in 2018 and is set to open in 2025.

Regional and National TOD News

Tupungato | Adobe Stock

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA—How One City Pulled Public Transit From the Brink — and What the Rest of the Country Can Learn From It
Abdallah Fayyad, Vox, April 10 2024
Washington’s Metro (WMATA), still recovering from pre-pandemic issues like delays and safety concerns, has utilized federal pandemic aid to improve services and reduce fares. This strategy, in stark contrast with other agencies that have cut services, has allowed WMATA to achieve ridership at 83 percent of pre-pandemic levels. This approach underscores the crucial impact federal funding can have on regional transit operations and the potential of transit to serve diverse riders including those traveling outside of the traditional 9-to-5 commute time. WMATA still faces challenges including projected budget
and service cuts, amid the ongoing need for federal support.

nejdetduzen | Adobe Stock

How to Ease the Path to Transit-Oriented Housing Development
Kalena Thomhave, SmartCitiesDive, April 9 2024
A recent analysis by the Urban Institute’s Yonah Freemark highlights the challenge faced by public transportation agencies seeking to integrate housing and transit development—limited land resources. While federal funding supports transit projects, it often neglects housing components, which hinders transit-oriented development. Freemark suggests that a dedicated land acquisition program could bridge the gap between transit and housing development and result in additional benefits such as increased ridership, convenience, and quality of life.

Courtesy of the New Haven Parking Authority

CONNECTICUT—Extra Step Added for Transit-Oriented Housing
Laura Glesby, New Haven Independent, April 4 2024
The New Haven Board of Alders Legislation Committee has approved new zoning for a “Transit-Oriented Community” (TOC) zone near Union Station. The proposal encourages a denser blend of commercial and retail development but requires housing developers to get additional approval from the City Plan Commission, especially for mixed-use projects. The extra bureaucratic requirement stems from the City’s concerns over stormwater management and flooding. The TOC zone also sets a higher Floor Area Ratio (FAR) that will allow for taller buildings and special permitting requirements for above-ground parking spaces. Other committee members expressed concerns regarding the target demographic for new development, comparing transient groups such as college students to long-term, family-oriented neighborhoods.

International TOD News

Courtesy of the Mayor of Tshwane

SOUTH AFRICA—Residents Handed Keys to New Marabastad Homes
Manna Maurice, Pretoria Rekord, April 11 2024
South Africa celebrates the opening of a new 1,200-unit development in the Marabastad Townlands Housing Project, its largest of such initiatives. The project promises to rejuvenate the Marabastad area by offering affordable social housing near transit hubs, reflecting the nation’s dedication to addressing apartheid-era spatial inequalities. Despite challenges like budget limitations and COVID-19 disruptions, local officials persevered, and secured additional funding through the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) to ensure the project’s success.

Courtesy of Business Bay Square

KENYA—How Mixed-Use Developments Are Reshaping Kenya’s Urban Landscape
Jacktone Lawi, The Star, April 8 2024
Mixed-use developments in Kenya such Two Rivers Mall, Garden City, and the upcoming Business Bay Square (BBS) Mall in Eastleigh blend residential, commercial, and retail spaces. These projects are reshaping the country’s real estate sector and fostering sustainable urban growth. Strategically located near transit hubs, these burgeoning hubs serving both locals and tourists are enhancing accessibility and connectivity for residents and businesses alike.