Thursday, April 25, 2024
TOD News Briefs

This Week in TOD News–the 2019-2020 Holiday Edition. December 21, 2019–January 3, 2020

CT Rail Hartford Line Map (upper left), Sayreville NJ retail streetscapes courtesy of North American Properties (lower left), rendering of the jewel box at the Gateway 1 building in Newark NJ (upper right), Jakarta. Photo by Adrian Pranata on Unsplash (lower right).

NJ TOD News
Retail streetscapes. Rendering courtesy of North American Properties.
Retail streetscapes. Rendering courtesy of North American Properties.

Phase One of What Is Likely the Largest Redevelopment Project in NJ’s History Will Break Ground Next Year
Chris Fry, Jersey Digs, December 23, 2019
One of the largest redevelopment projects in NJ is scheduled to begin in 2020. The Sayreville Planning Board unanimously approved the revised application for the first phase of Riverton, a mixed-used development to be built on 418 acres. Plans for the $2.5 billion development call for a total of five million square feet, with more than 2,000 luxury waterfront residences, 750,000-square feet of high-tech workspace, and three hotels providing 700 rooms. The first phase will focus on retail uses, a cinema, restaurants, a nine-story retail and office tower, a 10-story hotel, a conference center, and two parking decks. The developer, North American Properties, working with Prudential Global Investment Management, is awaiting approval for a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (or PILOT) from Sayreville’s Borough Council.

Renderings of the jewel box at the Gateway 1 building.
Renderings of the jewel box at the Gateway 1 building.

The Gateway to N.J.’s Largest City is Getting a Major Makeover
Karen Yi, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, December 23, 2019
Onyx Equities, which purchased three of the Gateway buildings and the concourses that connect commuters between Newark Penn Station, the Gateway complex, and the Prudential Center, will invest $35 million to renovate the lobbies and common spaces. One part of the renovation will add a glass two-story atrium with a metallic exterior near the entrance to Newark Penn Station. Dubbed the “jewel box,” the entrance will be lit at night. This feature and reconfigured retail, opened to the concourse and ground-floor levels, are designed to encourage street-level foot traffic. The Gateway houses many of the state’s law firms, media outlets, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, and headquarters for U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Robert Menendez.

HMFA Awards $22.5 Million in Tax Credits, Supporting 1,200 Affordable Units
Joshua Burd, Real Estate NJ, December 24, 2019
New Jersey has announced the award of more than $22 million in funding under a federal tax credit program for affordable housing developers. The funds will support 17 projects and create 1,200 units for families, seniors and residents with special needs. The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency administers the allocations, which are part of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. The awards will generate an estimated $214.7 million in private investment, part of nearly $325 million in total development costs. Established by the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the LIHTC program is seen as an effective funding program for the production of new affordable rental apartments.

Xchange at Secaucus Junction. Google maps.
Xchange at Secaucus Junction. Google maps.

25-Story Development Proposed Near Secaucus Junction
Jared Kofsky, Jersey Digs, December 27, 2019
Fraternity Meadows, LLC recently filed plans with the Secaucus Zoning Board of Adjustment for a proposed development at XChange at Secaucus Junction. The ZBA is scheduled to hear the developer’s application and their request for a height variance during its meeting on January 13. If approved and built as planned, the 25-story “Building G” would comprise 403 housing units, with the first four floors devoted to parking. The existing XChange at Secaucus Junction apartment complex was completed in stages beginning in 2008 and is comprised of four- and five-story buildings.

Regional and National TOD News

How Mass Transit Raises Property Values
Herb Booth, UT Arlington Media Relations, December 17, 2019
University of Texas at Arlington researchers, Ard Anjomani and Saad AlQuhtani, recently studied transit-oriented developments in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area and identified the most important factors that increase housing values near those sites. Their paper, “Do rail transit stations affect housing value changes? The Dallas Fort-Worth metropolitan area case and implications,” published in the Journal of Transport Geography, found the most important factor in increasing housing values near TOD is the number of college-educated residents. Researchers also found increasing housing values when the number of jobs near the TOD increased.

CT Rail MapAs Five Towns Wait for Hartford Line Train Stations, Transit-Oriented Developments Move Forward
Sean Teehan, Hartford Business Journal, December 23, 2019
In early November, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced a 10-year, $21-billion transportation plan that included funding two new Hartford Line train stations in Windsor Locks and Enfield. Earlier plans called for support of five new stations, but the recent rejection of the CT2030 transportation investment plan, which called for tolling cars and trucks in 14 locations, has led to less expansive plans. The governor now backs a scaled-down, trucks-only tolling plan, which will be voted upon in January. Despite these setbacks, these two communities, along with West Hartford, Newington and North Haven, have been creating transit-oriented development plans near potential train station locations in preparation for state funding availability.

Light Rail Fuels Residential Housing Boom in South Salt Lake
AP, The Herald Journal, December 27, 2019
More than 2,800 housing units have been built near the TRAX station, which began operations in 2015. The light rail line provides a 15-minute trip from the suburb of South Salt Lake, with its 25,000 residents, to Salt Lake City.  Changes in zoning from industrial to residential have supported this development.

King Memorial Station TOD. Atlanta, GA. Source: coUrbanize
King Memorial Station TOD.
Atlanta, GA. Source: coUrbanize

MARTA and Partners Move Forward on King Memorial Station TOD Construction
MARTA, Mass Transit, December 27, 2019
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority’s (MARTA) development partners, Place Properties and H.J. Russell Company, have secured and closed on financing and will soon begin construction on the King Memorial Station transit-oriented development (TOD). The $62.5 million project will utilize 4.4 acres of underutilized parking space located to the south of the station and result in 300 housing units, including 100 affordable units, and 10,000 square feet of retail space. This is the second multifamily project financed this year to be built upon land MARTA has designated for affordable housing.

The north side of Westbury (LIRR station) at the pedestrian tunnel & crosswalk of Union Avenue in Westbury, New York. By DanTD, CC BY-SA 3.0
The north side of Westbury (LIRR station) at the pedestrian tunnel & crosswalk of Union Avenue in Westbury, New York. By DanTD, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Big Changes in the Village of Westbury: Zoning Amendment Sows the Seeds for New Transit-Oriented Development
Philip A. Butler, Long Island Land Use and Zoning, December 30, 2019
The Village of Westbury Board of Trustees recently adopted legislation that created the Maple Union Transit-Oriented Development District. The new law eliminates industrial zoning districts along the Long Island Railroad corridor and adopts seven mixed-use subdistricts designed to form a foundation for a new downtown area comprising medium-density residential buildings, ground-floor retail and commercial uses, and significant community and cultural amenities and open space. One key aspect of the new zoning includes incentive provisions. The base height restriction for all new development within the entire district is three stories (or 40 feet). However, in four of the seven subdistricts, the Board of Trustees may grant height bonuses of up to five stories in exchange for public benefits donated to the Village.

International TOD News

INDIA — Densification of Bengaluru’s Core: Way Forward?
Rasheed Kappan, Deccan Herald, Jan 3, 2020
Rasheed Kappan, Civic Affairs Editor at the Deccan Herald, reviews aspects of a proposed Transit-Oriented Development Policy, a part of the Bengaluru’s Comprehensive Mobility Plan. The policy supports high-density nodes within walking/cycling distance of transit stations. This review also calls for changes to land aggregation policy to support new TOD.

Jakarta. Photo by Adrian Pranata on Unsplash.
Jakarta. Photo by Adrian Pranata on Unsplash.

INDONESIA — Transit-Oriented Development to Transform Urban Commuting
Vela Andapita, The Jakarta Post, January 3 2020
The Jakarta administration seeks to address severe traffic congestion, develop more housing, and boost the local economy through TOD and improvements to public transportation and pedestrian conditions. City-owned PT MRT Jakarta and state-owned PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) are set to develop several TODs in greater Jakarta. MRT Jakarta announced it will build 50,000 housing units in TOD projects near five stations on its first line (North-South Line). This housing will be sold commercially and prioritize sales to first-time home buyers. KAI has partnered with state-owned builder PT Perumnas to develop TODs, including construction of a total of 10 apartment towers, near three commuter line stations on the Jakarta Kota-Bogor Line at Tanjung Barat Station in South Jakarta.