Volume 2, Number 1

Transit Village Update

***** Save the Date! June 9, 2006 *****
Transit Village Symposium at Rutgers University

The New Jersey Department of Transportation and the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) at Rutgers University will hold a symposium on June 9, 2006 to discuss the status of transit-oriented development in New Jersey. The event will be held from 9:00 am until 12:30 pm at Rutgers University's Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at 33 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick.

The symposium will include distinguished speakers from NJ TRANSIT, the New Jersey Department of Transportation and VTC. NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George Warrington and DOT Commissioner Kris Kolluri will be featured speakers. The event will also include a panel discussion among experts working in the field of transit-oriented development, including developers, planners, academics and public officials. Please RSVP to vtc@policy.rutgers.edu if you would like to attend the event. Watch for further details in your email!

Belmar and Netcong Developers Chosen

The Borough of Belmar selected the Gale Company of Florham Park as the Master Redeveloper for its Seaport Redevelopment Project. The mixed-use project will include new housing, retail establishments, restaurants, offices and structured parking. In addition, the redevelopment project will reconnect and integrate the Marina and Inlet areas of the town with the Main Street corridor. In these waterfront areas, the Borough plans to construct 54 new boat slips, a miniature golf course, and several restaurants, as well as new walkways and public spaces to encourage pedestrian movement between the Marina and the downtown area.


Belmar Redevelopment Rendering
Source: www.belmar.com

In total, 13 different development sites have been identified, including the renovation of the central town square, Pyanoe Plaza. Other plans include significant streetscape improvements and the construction of the pedestrian-only “Sunset Bridge” to link train commuters and shoppers to a planned hotel near the Marina.


Proposed Netcong Transit Village Plan
Source: www.rpa.org

Netcong, the most recently named Transit Village, has designated Woodmont Properties of Parisippany to develop a 13-acre project surrounding the NJ TRANSIT train station. In a joint venture with Roseland Properties, the developer will build 201 one- and two-bedroom units, 13,000 square feet of retail space and 7,000 square feet of office space. The residential units will range in price from the high $300,000s to the low $600,000s. The project will also include a 4,500-square foot community center and provides for numerous green spaces and parks. The area is currently used as a parking lot for NJ TRANSIT commuters on the Montclair-Boonton and Morristown lines. Much of the planning was facilitated by NJ TRANSIT’s Transit-Friendly Planning Assistance Program, which helps municipalities redevelop land around train station areas.

The Regional Plan Association (RPA) was instrumental in the borough’s community planning process, holding several outreach meetings with residents and local business owners. The borough hopes to break ground in early 2007.

Riverside Renaissance: Two Major Projects Announced

Riverside Township in Burlington County has recently announced two major projects in its transit village district. First, the township has signed a redevelopment agreement with a team of developers — Kaplan Companies, Keating Development Companies and Pulte Homes — to transform the industrial area known as the “Golden Triangle” into a $200 million transit-oriented, mixed-use development. The 32-acre industrial brownfield is anchored by the Keystone Watchcase Tower, a striking building constructed in 1908 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The first floor of the seven-story building, which closed over 50 years ago, will contain commercial space; 120 two-story lofts will fill the upper floors. The remainder of the property will feature 200 condominiums and 66 townhouses facing Rancocas Creek. The site is located directly opposite the RiverLINE station.


Watchcase Tower on Golden Triangle

The township also agreed to terms with J.S. Hovnanian and Sons, who purchased the William F. Taubel Mills for $2.1 million. Hovnanian cited the location near the RiverLINE station as a major factor for its decision to purchase and redevelop the 1.5-acre property. Hovnanian is demolishing the existing buildings to construct 250 condominiums in two seven-story towers. All eight businesses operating in the two buildings agreed to relocate. The turn-of-the-century buildings were named after a major hosiery manufacturer that occupied the buildings from 1905 until 1930, when the business went bankrupt.

Rahway Update: Projects, Projects, Projects!

Since Rahway was featured in our first issue, a lot has been happening in this Transit Village as it continues toward its redevelopment goals.

Riverwalk at Rahway is an 86-unit townhouse project on nine acres along the east side of the Rahway River. It is a five-minute walk to the NJ TRANSIT train station along the Northeast Corridor. Three buildings have been completed with 20 units sold or under contract. The sales agent for the developer, Diversified Communities, reported that buyers clearly value the easy access to the train. Prices currently range from $400,000 for a 1,455 square foot unit to $550,000 for 2,300 square feet. Diversified has just purchased an adjacent hotel site along Route 1 & 9 and plans to extend Riverwalk to include stacked flats at this location. Part of the site along the Rahway River will become Riverwalk Park and will feature a restored natural habitat, a walking/bike path and a boathouse for non-motorized watercraft.

Building permits are about to be issued for a 15-story mixed-use project opposite the train station, to be known as Carriage City. The building, being developed by Silicon Group, will feature 20,000 square feet of retail and office space, 102 extended-stay hotel rooms, and 200 one- and two-bedroom residential condominiums.


Dornoch Holdings, LLC, of Morristown, New Jersey, now has three ongoing developments in Rahway after purchasing $12 million worth of properties in the Central Business District.

The first is a 36-unit residential project at Main and Monroe Streets, with 6,000 square feet of retail space at grade and parking for residents underground. Construction is expected to begin soon.

The second is diagonally across from the train station featuring 150 residential units, 20,000 square feet of office space, 20,000 square feet of retail space, and a 324-car parking deck.

The third project is the redevelopment of the Hamilton Laundry site, near the Union County Arts Center, into artist lofts and studio space, a restaurant and comedy club, plus market-rate housing. Gardens, landscaped open space and courtyards, and a bridge across the river are proposed as part of this plan. The city is currently engaged in asbestos removal on the site.

 

Heartstone Development, LLC, of East Hanover will soon be building 150 rental units two blocks west of the train station once acquisition of properties now on the site is complete. Heartstone is also the developer of River Place - a 136-unit market-rate apartment complex on the corner of Dock and Lewis Streets completed in 2004, becoming the largest privately-funded residential housing development to be built in the Central Business District in 25 years.

 

Landmark Communities, LLC, of Princeton and Keasbey, New Jersey, is now clearing the site for its $20 million Park Square project that will feature 159 units of market-rate rental housing.

 

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