Thursday, April 25, 2024
TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News January 6-12, 2024

Minneapolis land use reforms spur housing (left); Mixed use residential to bring new life to the Monmouth Mall; Pedestrian traffic fatalities, a uniquely American problem; Boston Mayor seeks form-based code; Tirana, Albania’s “school streets” (right top-to-bottom)

Article of the Week

Minneapolis, MN (2021). Josh Hild | Unsplash

MINNESOTA—Do Land-Use Reforms Spur Housing Development? You Betcha.
Molly Bolan, Route Fifty, January 8 2024
All eyes looked toward Minneapolis when it became the first major U.S. city to eliminate single-family zoning in 2019. A new analysis from Pew Charitable Trusts finds that with that change and others, the city grew its housing stock by 12 percent, or nearly 21,000 new units, from 2017 to 2022 while rents increased by only 1 percent. Meanwhile in the state overall, housing stock expanded by just 4 percent and rents rose 14 percent. Other policies contributing to the city’s housing growth include reduced parking requirements and permitting 10-to-30 story buildings near public transit.


NJ TOD News

Courtesy of C3D Architecture

JERSEY CITY—Namdar Group Nabs $160 Million Loan for Upcoming Jersey City Tower
Chris Fry, Jersey Digs, January 11 2024
The Namdar Group has secured $243 million in financing, including a $160 construction loan from SCALE lending, for a 27-story tower at 626 Newark Avenue in Jersey City. The mixed-use project, designed by C3D Architecture, will include 586 residential units, 9,915 sq. ft. of retail space, and 17,747 sq. ft. of office space. Plans call for parking for 276 bicycles but no cars. The development is located about a quarter mile from the Journal Square Transportation Center.

Courtesy of Weiss Properties

NEW BRUNSWICK—Weiss Properties Unveils 24-Story Luxury Living Coming to New Brunswick
Jessica Perry, NJ Biz, January 10 2024
Weiss Properties has received approval for its largest residential project to date, LIV Apartments, a 24-story mixed-use building to be built at the corner of Livingston Avenue and New Street in New Brunswick. The complex will comprise 407 units, 355 parking spaces, and ground floor retail that will include the Elks Lodge and Co-Op Natural Foods Market, which are currently on site. The development coincides with the HELIX project, a $900 million innovation district, and $49 million in improvements to the New Brunswick Train Station.

Proposed plan of Monmouth Village. Courtesy of the Borough of Eatontown, NJ

EATONTOWN—Part of N.J. Mall Will Be Demolished to Make Way for Luxury Apartments
Jackie Roman, NJ, January 4 2024
Monmouth Mall will become “Monmouth Square,” a pedestrian-friendly live, work and play adaptive reuse project. Kushner Companies confirmed demolition at the property to make way for the construction of 1,000 apartments, as well as retail space, restaurants, a grocery store, and 115,000 sq. ft. in medical office space. The Monmouth Mall redevelopment plan includes a payment in lieu of taxes agreement, and in August, the Eatontown Borough Council approved a 30-year tax exemption for the developer.


Transit and Equity News

trattieritratti | Adobe Stock

Why Are Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities Climbing in the US and Not the Rest of the World?
Chris Moulton, Northeastern Global News, January 9 2024
In 2022, pedestrian traffic deaths in the United States reached a 40-year high. This uniquely American problem can be linked to two trends: poor and absent pedestrian infrastructure that came with late 20th century suburban sprawl and, more recently, the increased use of large SUVs and light-duty trucks. Peter Furth, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northeastern University, offers solutions, such as daylighting intersections, Vision Zero policies, and changing crash test ratings to account for the safety of pedestrians struck by vehicles.

The Nahele Development in Ho‘opili. Courtesy of D.R. Horton

HAWAII—New Housing Is Rising Along the Rail Line
Chavonnie Ramos, Hawaii Business Magazine, January 5 2024
The start of operations for the first 10 miles of the Skyline light rail service on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, has increased interest among homebuyers. About 2,700 families have already moved into the Ho’opili project in West Oahu, a $1-billion, 11,750-home development with its own station called Honouliuli. Another project, Keawalau, plans 537 units of affordable housing as well as shopping, dining, and workspaces. Multiple transit-oriented projects are also planned for the area near the University of Hawaii-West Oahu and other locations along the route.

Courtesy of Willets Point

NEW YORK—Mayor Adams, Community Partners Break Ground on Willets Point Transformation, Largest Affordable Housing Project in 40 Years
Press Release, Office of the Mayor, City of New York, December 20 2023
Construction has begun on the first phase of the planned transformation of Willets Point, the area directly east of Citi Field. The development aims to deliver more than 2,500 affordable housing units, 35,000 sq. ft. of public open space, and a soccer stadium. The City of New York has committed more than $420 million to the project. The area is served by the MTA’s Number 7 line Mets-Willets Point Station and Q48 bus.


Regional and National TOD News

Courtesy of Michigan Department of Transportation

MASSACHUSETTS—Wu Pushes Plan to Streamline Boston’s Complex Zoning
Catherine Carlock, Boston Globe, January 8 2024
The administration of Mayor Michelle Wu has begun work on the adoption of form-based zoning code to help address housing scarcity. The new “squares and streets” approach is seen as a way to speed up construction of new development by reducing the time required to permit new projects. The new zoning would offer an array of building types from which neighborhoods could choose based upon their needs. The draft squares and streets zoning plan will come before the city’s Zoning Commission next month. If approved, the rezoning effort will focus initially on transit-centered neighborhoods.

Courtesy of Midtown Alliance

GEORGIA—Street Upgrades, Extension on Tap for Midtown in Early 2024
Josh Green, Urbanize Atlanta, January 5 2024
In the coming months, work should begin on two street-upgrade projects that will provide better bicycle and pedestrian connections in Midtown Atlanta. Supported by more than $6 million in funding, including half from the George Department of Transportation, the 15th Street project will extend the street by two blocks and connect the Arts Center MARTA Station to Williams Street. The $3 million 5th Street Complete Street project will provide 0.6 miles of pedestrian-friendly upgrades for the multi-modal corridor.


International TOD News

Bikes in Brussels, Belgium. joyt | Adobe Stock

Paris Is Great, but Here’s Where the Green Mobility Revolution Is Happening
Scott Shepard, Planetizen, January 10 2024
Recently European cities, including Paris, have experienced significant changes in urbanism and mobility. The 15 Minute City concept in Paris, involves extensive cycle networks and green spaces to reduce car dependency. Similarly, cities such as Milan, Seville, and Brussels have embraced sustainable mobility plans, pedestrianized zones, and incorporated shared mobility options, reflecting a broader shift towards greener urban mobility patterns across Europe.

Children play on a school street’s extended sidewalk. Courtesy of Qendra Marrëdhënie | Relationship Center

ALBANIA—This Albanian City Should Inspire America to Go Big on ‘School Streets’
Kea Wilson, Streetblogs USA, January 4 2024
The Albanian capital, Tirana, will invest nearly 1 million euros to convert 20 streets near neighborhood schools into permanent “school streets” that will eliminate car traffic and encourage walkability. The model, first adopted in Italy in 1989, is part of their “Streets for Kids” program, which aims to double the number of kid-friendly corridors in the city by 2026 as part of their effort to protect all neighborhood schools. Tirana’s initiative will rededicate space for pedestrians by enhancing safety, transforming public spaces into play areas, and adding benches and trees.

CANADA—Federal Government and Nunavut Invest More Than $194 Million in Critical Infrastructure and Transit Projects Across the Territory
Government of Canada, January 4 2024
Under the Canada Plan, the federal government will invest more than CAN$180 billion in public transit, green infrastructure, trade and transportation routes over the next 12 years. The federal and territorial governments will jointly invest more than CAN$194 million in Nunavut infrastructure projects to combat climate change. Funds will be used for the purchase of transit vehicles to connect residents living in the nation’s northernmost territory, especially seniors and persons with disabilities, to essential day-to-day activities.