Saturday, July 13, 2024
TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News May 20-26, 2023

Article of the Week

Children drinking water in Ethiopia. Save the Children | Flickr
Children drinking water in Ethiopia. Save the Children | Flickr

Heatwaves, Global Warming, and the Ethics of Our Cities
Adnan Zillur Morshed, The Daily Star, May 26 2023
As cities experience escalating temperatures due to the heat island effect, architect Adnan Zillur Morshed offers a rethink of urban planning to mitigate both local and global warming impacts. Urbanization contributes significantly to climate change, as cities occupy 3 percent of the planet’s surface but represent 80 percent of world GDP and energy consumption. Morshed advocates for transit-oriented, environment-friendly, and people-centric urban design that expands green spaces and offers affordable mass transit networks as strategies for combatting the detrimental effects of urban heat islands and climate change.

The groundbreaking for the development. Courtesy of Denholtz Properties
Groundbreaking for The Rail. Courtesy of Denholtz Properties

BOUND BROOK—Denholtz, Redwood Real Estate Break Ground on 143-Unit Multifamily Community in Downtown Bound Brook
Linda Lindner,, May 25 2023
Denholtz Properties and Redwood Real Estate Group have broken ground on The Rail at Bound Brook, a 143-unit, transit-oriented residential community, and expect to complete work by the third quarter of 2024. Located next to the Brook Arts Center and one block from Bound Brook Train Station, the development complies with Bound Brook’s Transit Village efforts which aim to incentivize local redevelopment. The Borough and State have committed $2.2 million for a pedestrian plaza adjacent to the new development, contributing to the revitalization of the area.

A site rendering. Courtesy of SJP Properties
Site rendering of HELIX. Courtesy of SJP Properties

NEW BRUNSWICK—SJP Properties and DEVCO Announce Plans to Develop Phase II of HELIX
Staff Writer, Real Estate Weekly, May 23 2023
SJP Properties and the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO) have revealed plans for the second phase of HELIX Health + Life Science Exchange, a multi-phase innovation district in downtown New Brunswick slated to be New Jersey’s largest investment in life sciences and medical education. Positioned proximate to Rutgers University and opposite the New Brunswick Station, which will receive a $49 million renovation, HELIX will comprise lab and office spaces for life sciences and technology companies, while offering easy access to New York City and Philadelphia. The third and final phase of HELIX will include a 42-story mixed-use office and residential building.

Transit and Equity News
Watsonville bus terminal in October 2017. Pi.1415926535 | Wikimedia
Watsonville bus terminal in October 2017. Pi.1415926535 | Wikimedia

CALIFORNIA—Affordable Housing Planned at Downtown Watsonville Transit Center
Tyler Maldonado, Santa Cruz Local, May 18 2023
The Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District plans to incorporate 60 affordable housing units above its downtown Watsonville bus transit center as part of its redevelopment effort. The $50 million project, set to begin in late 2025 or early 2026, will also feature ground-floor shops, community spaces, a bike share hub, and a zero-net-energy building design. The redevelopment requires no resident parking, though spaces may be accessed at a nearby garage, enhancing the appeal of the transit-oriented project that aims to increase bus ridership and contribute to state greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.

Rendering of Promise Place. Courtesy of the Ride KC Development Corporation
Rendering of Promise Place. Courtesy of the Ride KC Development Corporation

MISSOURI—KCATA Approves Three Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Facilities
Mike Coutee, Fox 4, May 15 2023
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) has approved three transit-oriented, affordable housing developments in the city’s east side, which will create 212 new and rehabilitated units. Promise Place in the Ivanhoe neighborhood will offer 101 affordable apartments near the Prospect MAX Bus Rapid Transit line, and the Mabion in Beacon Hill will comprise 57 multi-family units. The KCATA Board approved the transformation of a rehabilitation center into an art-deco-style senior living facility, utilizing a mix of funding sources including tax credits and the Kansas City Housing Trust Fund.

Regional and National TOD News
Early rendering of proposed Dorrance Street Transit Center. Courtesy of RIPTA
Early rendering of proposed Dorrance Street Transit Center. Courtesy of RIPTA

RHODE ISLAND—RIPTA Asks to Change State Contracting Laws Over Dorrance Street Hub. Here’s Why.
Patrick Anderson, The Providence Journal, May 25 2023
The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) seeks legislative approval for a public-private partnership to construct the planned Dorrance Street Transit Center, a significant transit-oriented development (TOD) in downtown Providence. The proposed procurement bill H6001 would permit RIPTA to select a developer based on value rather than just the lowest bid, favoring a progressive design-build approach. The Dorrance Street hub is envisioned to include bus berths, a passenger waiting area, RIPTA offices, and retail spaces on the ground floor of a multi-story building, with residential apartments above.

Site rendering. Courtesy of Discovery Union Square
Site rendering. Courtesy of Discovery Union Square

MASSACHUSETTS—One Union Square Greeted with Encouraging Public Response
Staff Writer, The Somerville Times, May 24 2023
The Hamilton Company received positive community feedback for its proposed One Union Square development in Somerville. The mixed-use project will comprise office, lab, R&D, retail and restaurant spaces, and civic areas. The development aims to foster connectivity to the MBTA’s Union Square Green Line Extension (GLX) station and aligns with Somerville’s long-term planning goals. The process for obtaining city approvals and completing site plan review is projected to take 12-18 months.

Courtesy of the City of Minneapolis, MN
Courtesy of the City of Minneapolis, MN

MINNESOTA—3 Ways Minnesota Is Crushing It on Climate Action
Maria Gallucci, Canary Media, May 24 2023
Minnesota has made significant strides in climate policy, as Governor Tim Walz signed several laws aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including a $1.3 billion investment in public transit and e-bikes. The transportation bill, set to tackle the state’s largest source of planet-warming emissions, combines tax and fee increases with funding to expand passenger rail services, improve safety, and revamp a major transportation hub. Additionally, the bill includes credits for electric-bike buyers and mandates for regional planners to extend bike paths, that demonstrate a commitment to clean, sustainable transport options.

International TOD News
Work at Swargate Metro Station. Courtesy of Pune Metro
Work at Swargate Metro Station. Courtesy of Pune Metro

INDIA—Building Pune: Metro’s First Commercial Outlet, Multi-Modal Transit Hub Coming Up Above Swargate Underground Station
Ajay Jadhav, Indian Express, May 26 2023
Pune Metro has begun work on its first commercial project at the Swargate underground metro station. This multi-phase project aims to integrate the transit hub with a multiplex, open-air restaurant, and retail outlets and enhance connectivity between the metro, city bus service, regional bus services, private vehicles, and non-motorized transport. The 39,000+ sq. m. complex will contribute to Pune Metro’s effort to secure half of its revenue from non-fare sources.

Rendering from Xiong’an New Area Urban Master Plan. Courtesy of Chapman Taylor
Rendering from Xiong’an New Area Urban Master Plan. Courtesy of Chapman Taylor

CHINA—Xi’s Footprints in Xiong’an Highlight ‘Miraculous’ Transformation of ‘City of the Future’
Tu Lei and Wang Cong, Global Times, May 22 2023
Staff Writer, Korea Times, May 24 2023
After six years of work, Xiong’an New Area, dubbed the “city of the future,” has begun to take shape as China’s national demonstration project for transit-oriented development (TOD). The city plans an integrated transportation network connecting offices, hotels, and apartments within a three-minute walk of rail. It also embraces the “15-minute living circle” concept, ensuring all essential services are within a short walking distance. As of the end of 2022, the city received more than 510 billion yuan in investment earmarked for 240 major projects, and anticipates the launch of 270 additional projects in 2023.