Sunday, May 19, 2024
TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News April 20-26, 2024

NJ’s push to build ADUs (left); Redevelopment of former Bayonne catholic school; Charlotte NC approves new affordable housing; Building apartments without parking in LA; Montreal plans 20,000 housing units & tramway in carbon-neutral district (right top-to-bottom)

Article of the Week

KAD PHOTO | Adobe Stock

There’s a Push in NJ to Build Affordable Housing in Backyards. Here’s What Towns Are Doing
Ashley Balcerzak and Megan Burrow,, April 25 2024
New Jersey towns like Montclair, Maplewood, and Princeton have adopted ADU ordinances to tackle the state’s affordable housing shortage and promote multi-generational living. Governor Phil Murphy’s proposed $10 million program incentivizes ADU construction to address housing affordability challenges. Despite hurdles such as construction costs and zoning regulations, ADUs are seen as a practical solution to expand housing options in high-cost areas like New Jersey.


Jin | Adobe Stock

PRINCETON—Would You Walk a Mile for a Coffee? Princeton Future Wants to Know
Richard K. Rein, TAPinto, April 23 2024
The nonprofit Princeton Future seeks to challenge Princetonians’ car-dependent mindset with its “Walks to Coffee” initiative. High school students surveyed two years ago showed a preference for walking up to a half-mile to school, but for longer distances, driving was ideal. On May 1st, Laurel Road residents will lead a 1.1-mile walk to Sakrid Coffee to promote neighborhood walkability—part of Princeton Future’s ongoing efforts to enhance personal connections and public health in a post-COVID landscape.

Jim Henderson | Wikipedia

BAYONNE—Redevelopment of Former Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School Underway
Al Sullivan, TAPinto, April 21 2024 Work has begun on the redevelopment of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Built in 1921, the building served as a Catholic school until 2008. Plans call for adding a fifth floor to allow for one- and two-bedroom apartments. The renovated building will also offer bicycle storage and a new parking garage and is conveniently located near the 22nd Street Hudson-Bergen Light Rail stop.

The Devan in Jersey City, NJ. Courtesy of Streetsense

JERSEY CITY—335-Home Rental Building Designed by Minno + Wasko Architects and Planners Opens Leasing in Jersey City, NJ
Press Release, Archinect, April 18 2024 Fields Grade and Ursa Development Group have opened leasing for The Devan, a 336-unit rental project at 3 New York Avenue in Jersey City near Hoboken. The building offers a mix of studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, located within a half-mile of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail 2nd Street Station and several bus routes, and less than a mile from the Hoboken Terminal. The Devan also includes co-working and group conference spaces, parking with EV charging stations, bicycle storage, and rentable scooters.

Transit and Equity News

Courtesy of the Office of Governor Wes Moore

MARYLAND—Governor Moore Signs Housing Legislation to Make Maryland More Affordable
Press Release, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, April 25 2024
Governor Wes Moore recently signed three housing bills in Maryland to make housing more affordable. These bills address concentrated poverty, reduce instability in the housing supply, and enhance renters’ rights. Notably, the Housing Expansion and Affordability Act incentivizes new housing construction by removing barriers, modernizing land use laws, and expediting approvals for transit-oriented development.

Rendering of the Mallard at Sugar Creek development in north Charlotte’s Derita neighbor

NORTH CAROLINA—New Affordable Housing Developments Approved by City Council
Annie Keough, Queen City Nerve, April 25 2024
Charlotte City Council allocated over $3 million for an affordable housing project under its Transit Oriented Development Affordable Housing Development Bonus Program (TODAHD). This marks the program’s debut in the city, aiming to support the purchase of land for an affordable housing development at 140 Dorton Street. It’s the first-time fee-in-lieu funds collected through TODAHD have been used for affordable housing in Charlotte, showcasing efforts to address housing affordability along transit corridors.

Proposed commercial hubs in lower SE Portland. Courtesy of the City of Portland, OR. Click to enlarge

OREGON—New Plan Seeks to Help Lower Southeast Portland “Rise”
Taylor Griggs, Portland Mercury, April 17 2024
The Lower Southeast Rising Area Plan, led by Portland’s Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), aims to revitalize neighborhoods like Brentwood-Darlington by reshaping land use and transportation to support local businesses, affordable housing, and safer, more accessible streets. The plan addresses historical disinvestment issues, including the lack of sidewalks, public transit, and essential services due to past zoning practices and development decisions. Residents have expressed mixed opinions on proposed changes, highlighting concerns about housing affordability and neighborhood stability.

Regional and National TOD News

Development area site plan. Courtesy of Principle Group. Click to enlarge

MASSACHUSETTS—Community Transformation Through Smaller-Scale Buildings
Robert Steuteville, Public Square, April 23 2024
Rebuilding Tremont Street in Mission Hill, Boston, revitalized a once underdeveloped corridor with small-scale, community-focused buildings and amenities. The $60 million investment included the adaptive reuse of five historic buildings, four new mixed-use structures, and a “local first” approach to commercial leasing, enhancing social and economic vitality. With a focus on transit-oriented development and dispersed amenities, the project fostered community engagement and a vibrant urban environment.

vesperstock | Adobe Stock

CALIFORNIA—Apartment Developers in LA Are Slashing Costs by Getting Rid of Parking. Some Neighbors Aren’t Happy
David Wagner, LAist, April 22 2024
In car-centric Los Angeles, thousands of new apartments are being developed without on-site parking, sparking concerns about street parking availability from some residents. However, advocates argue that eliminating parking requirements reduces construction costs, making rents more affordable, and encourages the use of public transportation, aligning with the city’s goals for transit-oriented development. Recent changes in state law allow developers to bypass parking mandates in certain areas, leading to an increase in parking-free apartment projects aimed at addressing the city’s housing needs.

Map by Click to enlarge

Close.City Maps Illustrate Inequalities of Access to Vital Services Across the Boston Region
Meghan Volcy, StreetsBlog Mass, April 19 2024
Nat Henry, founder of Henry Spatial Analysis, unveiled “Close,” an interactive map showcasing walkable, bikeable, and transit-friendly neighborhoods nationwide. The map highlights proximity to essential services such as supermarkets, parks, and transit facilities and provides time estimates by walking, biking, and walking + transit. Such mapping tools can be useful when assessing urban accessibility and housing policies, but such tools require accurate and up-to-date data to be effective.

Graphic from Abu-Khalaf, Ahmad. (2023). Repurposing Underutilized Strip Malls to Create Multifamily Housing. Click to enlarge

America Is Full of Abandoned Malls. What if We Turned Them Into Housing?
Rachel M. Cohen, April 10 2024
Empty strip malls are gaining attention as potential sites for affordable housing projects across the US. Despite their aging infrastructure, these properties offer ample space and parking, making them attractive for redevelopment. Zoning laws pose a major obstacle to these conversions though, limiting their widespread adoption. Yet, policymakers increasingly recognize their potential, leading to initiatives aimed at overcoming regulatory barriers and unlocking opportunities for much-needed housing development.

International TOD News

Melbourne Station. Craig | Adobe Stock

AUSTRALIA—Place Making Expert Calls for a Radical Rethink to Address the Housing Crisis
Kylie Legge and Branko Miletic, Architecture & Design, April 23 2024
Place Score’s founder, Kylie Legge, discusses the group’s 2023 Australian Liveability Census, which supports a shift in housing policies towards prioritizing long-term liveability alongside dwelling targets. The report finds desirable neighborhoods, often characterized by higher-density, walkability, green spaces, and proximity to public transit, have become less affordable. Legge recommends that decision-makers adopt a “liveability ecosystem” approach that integrates transit-oriented development and community values to create healthier, more connected neighborhoods with improved access to amenities
and transportation.

Plans for Montreal Hippodrome site. Courtesy of the City of Montreal. Click to enlarge

CANADA—Thousands of Housing Units, Tramway in Montreal’s New Hippodrome Plan
Joe Bongiorno, CBC News, April 19 2024
The City of Montreal plans to develop a carbon-neutral district of 20,000 housing units on the former Montreal Hippodrome site and adjacent land near the Namur Metro station. This ambitious project, described as Quebec’s largest real estate redevelopment in a decade, aims to incorporate affordable housing, parks, public amenities, and a tramway line. Despite past setbacks and infrastructure challenges, officials are optimistic about securing developer interest and financing, with construction potentially starting by 2025.

The new road opening up land for housing development. Courtesy of the City of Limerick and County Council

IRELAND—Stage Two of Limerick’s €28 Million Project Providing for 1,900 New Housing Is Launched
Erika Sassone, Irish Independent, April 17 2024
Stage 2 of Limerick’s €28 million (~$31.5 million) Mungret Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) road project has commenced, aiming to unlock 59.6 hectares (~ 147 acres) of land for development, including 1,900 housing units and mixed-use areas. The road will facilitate safe walking, cycling, and public transport with pedestrian crossings, bus stops, and lanes, supported by funding from the Department of Housing, National Transport Authority, and Limerick City and County Council. The Stage 3 link to Patrickswell Road is in preliminary design and will be submitted for approval later this year. Learn more about the project at this LIHAF Story Map.