Sunday, May 19, 2024
TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News May 4-10, 2024

NJ bill would offer funds to ease housing crisis (left); Jersey City approves 800-unit Harborside 4 tower; SEPTA provides free rides to 25K low income residents; Upgrades aim to develop 30th Street neighborhood; South Korea’s tech hub implements 15-minute city model (right: top-to-bottom)

Article of the Week

Lowlova l Wikipedia

Help Ease N.J. Housing Crisis and We’ll Give You More Money for Your Town, Dems Tell Mayors
Jelani Gibson, MSN, May 7 2024
A new bill aims to prioritize state grants for towns that support affordable housing in New Jersey. The proposed legislation encourages towns willing to fulfill their fair share housing obligations by streamlining access to funding from programs like Main Street New Jersey. These initiatives support revitalization and development in business districts and residential areas, focusing particularly on moderate to low-income communities. Approved by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee, the bill awaits further deliberation within the chamber.


Courtesy of Handel Architects

JERSEY CITY—Jersey City Approves Related Companies’ Harborside 4, an 800-Unit Tower
Chris Fry, JerseyDigs, May 9 2024
The Jersey City Planning Board recently approved the conversion of an existing parking lot into a new 1.3-acre mixed-use high-rise at 20 Columbus Drive. Known as Harborside 4, the 50-story, 800-unit project will provide 161 studios, 432 one- and 207 two-bedrooms. The development will also include a 399-space parking garage and offer 411 spaces for bicycle storage on the ground, fourth, and fifth floors of the garage.

Courtesy of Baldwin Equities

NEWARK—Baldwin Equities Building and Revitalizing Over 370K Sq. Ft. While Adding 63 Affordable Housing Units
Staff Writer, ROI-NJ, May 8 2024
Downtown Newark is set to gain over 370,000 sq. ft. of mixed-use space, as Baldwin Equities continues to build-out its current portfolio. Each project will include a 20 percent set-aside for affordable renters, 63 units in total. The construction will include the conversion of offices and hotel uses into residential space. One of the buildings, The William at 43-53 William Street, is occupied by the Learning Experience, a childcare center. Some projects have been completed, while others should open by 2026.

Courtesy of Tantum-Pennrose

COLLINGSWOOD—Collingswood Selects Redevelopment Group for Atlantic Avenue ‘Water Tower’ Project, Visioning Sessions to Follow
Matt Skoufalos, NJPEN, May 1 2024
Borough officials are preparing to transform a 1.8-acre downtown parcel. The project includes a five-story building with 60 affordable senior units and a six-story building with 95 apartments offering one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. The development will feature a public plaza and a parking garage. Community engagement sessions will be held to refine the site’s final design and construction.

Transit and Equity News

Courtesy of the City of Issaquah

WASHINGTON—Issaquah Approves Affordable Housing Incentives Near Future Light Rail
Ryan Packer, The Urbanist, May 8 2024
The Issaquah City Council has approved a new tax exemption aimed at encouraging denser housing development near planned light rail stations. This initiative, part of the Central Issaquah Pioneer Program, is designed to promote mixed-use construction, with a specific focus on Gilman Village and East Lake Sammamish Parkway. Combined, projects in these areas could introduce up to 800 new housing units and pave the way for additional development. This decision underscores the City’s dedication to preparing for the arrival of Sound Transit service, as it gears up for the 2041 opening of the South Kirkland-Issaquah Link line.

Courtesy of Google Streetview

KENTUCKY—Old Greyhound Bus Station Set to Be Replaced with Affordable Housing Complex
Brandon Spencer, Wave, May 7 2024
LDG Development has broken ground a new 256-unit affordable housing complex at the site of the former Greyhound Bus Station in Louisville. Named Grey on Ali, the project aims to enhance the vibrancy of downtown Louisville and help address the state’s 36,000-unit shortage of affordable housing. The project, conveniently situated near essential amenities and jobs and with access to several Transit Authority of River City (TARC) bus routes, is scheduled to be completed in 2026 or 2027.

Courtesy of Gilbane Development Company

MARYLAND—Gilbane Development Company Opens 451-Unit Atworth Transit-Oriented Affordable Apartment Community in College Park, Maryland
Staff Writer, Multifamily Biz, May 3 2024
A new 451-unit, transit-oriented community, the Atworth, will house those earning 80 percent or less of the area’s median income. Project funding and assistance comes principally from WMATA, Prince George County, and the Amazon Housing Equity Fund. Located near the Metro, MARC, and future MTA Purple Line, Atworth will provide studio, one-, two-, and three-bedrooms. The development will also include a 324-space parking garage, two courtyards, and two clubhouses.

Courtesy of The Neighborhood Developers, Inc.

MASSACHUSETTS—MassDevelopment Issues $24.5 Million Bond on Behalf of TND 170 Cottage LLC for 66-Unit Affordable Housing Facility
Staff Writer, Nerej, May 3 2024
A new 66-unit affordable housing project will soon break ground in Chelsea north of Boston, following the issuance of $24.5 million in tax-exempt bonds. The project will feature a 76,000 sq. ft. building reserved for households earning below 60 percent of the area’s median income. The development, near the Chelsea Greenway and one block from the Eastern Ave Silver Line BRT Station, includes a bike path and underground parking.

Chris Henry l Unsplash

PENNSYLVANIA—Philly Is Giving Free SEPTA Rides to 25,000 Low-Income Residents. No Strings Attached.
Maylin Tu, Next City, April 26 2024
Philadelphia has introduced a Zero Fare pilot program that will provide 25,000 low-income residents with SEPTA Key cards worth $204. Using $62 million in city funds through June 2025, the program targets residents aged 18-64 living at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty line. The initiative aims to enhance job access and reduce barriers to using public transit by allowing unlimited use of rail and bus options. The program’s participants are auto enrolled, focusing on immigrants and refugees. Currently, 20 percent of households in Philadelphia live below the poverty line and half lack access to a vehicle.

Regional and National TOD News

Courtesy of Lower Merion Township

PENNSYLVANIA—Lower Merion’s City Avenue Shifts to Walkable Living
Julia Rapp, Delco Today, May 8 2024
City Avenue, located at the border of Philadelphia and Lower Merion Township, is transitioning from a car-dependent strip to a walkable, mixed-use corridor. Lower Merion has reformed its zoning code to favor denser development, building atop underutilized parking lots. The new construction boom is guided by a business improvement district, the City Ave District. Many potential residential projects are still in the planning phase.

Courtesy of Amtrak

PENNSYLVANIA—How SEPTA and Amtrak Improvements Could Help Turn 30th Street into a Neighborhood
Inga Saffron, The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 4 2024
Philadelphia’s historic 30th Street Station is poised for significant enhancements to strengthen its role within the developing Schuylkill Yards neighborhood. A $550 million project will renovate the interior to accommodate new restaurants and retail spaces, aligning with Amtrak’s broader strategy to attract businesses and secure funding. The surrounding area near 30th Street Station has experienced substantial new construction, including office spaces such as research labs, contributing to job growth outside Center City. As the neighborhood continues to expand, projections anticipate Amtrak ridership doubling by 2040.

Courtesy of the Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

NEW YORK—Following Landmark Housing Agreement, Governor Hochul Announces Suffolk County Site Will Be First State Property Targeted for Housing
Press Release, Office of Governor Hochul, May 3 2024
Vacant since the 1990s, a 13-acre site in East Farmingdale will undergo redevelopment, following a new Request for Proposal (RFP) announced by Governor Kathy Hochul. The plan, led by the Town of Babylon and the state’s Empire State Development, seeks to construct a mixed-use residential neighborhood to boost housing supply, while supporting transit use for the nearby Farmingdale and Pinelawn LIRR stations. The project will also provide open space, pedestrian paths, parking, and will set aside 20 percent of total units for those earning 80 percent of the area’s median income.

International TOD News

Jayanthi photography l Adobe Stock

INDIA—Tamil Nadu: 3.25 FSI for Buildings in Integrated Townships Planned to Boost Growth
C Shivakumar, The New Indian Express, May 7 2024
The State of Tamil Nadu is considering a significant increase in the floor space index (FSI) to over 6.5 in transit-oriented areas along major corridors. As cities like Chennai continue to construct new housing, the new policy may allow developers to flexibly apply FSI across sites within the same township. This initiative aims to foster economic growth by promoting shared spaces including housing, education, healthcare, and retail in one location. State leaders expect the new rules to help spur economic growth within their metro areas, while also streamlining the permitting process for new developers.

MdV Edwards l Adobe Stock

PHILIPPINES—More Retailers Seen to Occupy Transit-Oriented Spaces
Aubrey Rose A. Inosante, BusinessWorld, May 7 2024
In major Filipino cities, analysts expect more retailers to center around transit hubs as new transit projects unfold through 2029. Businesses in areas near new dense housing developments anticipate a surge in consumer traffic and spending. The shift towards transit-oriented spaces is led by sectors such as food and beverage and fast fashion. Meanwhile, office vacancy rates in cities like Manila have remained stagnant and are predicted to decrease in the coming decade.

Busan, South Korea. bryan… | Wikipedia

SOUTH KOREA—How South Korea’s Tech Hub Embraced the 15-Minute City
Carlos Moreno, Next City, May 7 2024
Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city with a population exceeding 3.4 million people, is pursuing a transformation into a 15-minute city under Mayor Park Hyung-joon’s “happy proximity” approach. City leaders are committed to providing equitable access to essential services within a 15-minute walk for all residents. Additional investments will focus on enhancing public spaces and pedestrianizing the streetscape, with approximately $22 million allocated to improve new zones identified as 15-minute neighborhoods.