Throughout the country, and especially in Northern New Jersey, there has been an increase in residential and mixed-use development near train, light rail, and trolley stations. In Jersey City, for example, new projects continue to be proposed further from the waterfront near stations on the PATH and Hudson-Bergen Light Rail. Likewise, the agendas for the Newark Central Planning Board and the Newark Zoning Board of Adjustment continue to be filled with applications by developers in order to build on properties that are within a short walk of Newark Penn Station, the Newark Broad Street Station, and stops near the Newark Light Rail.
Now, it appears that Trenton is also looking to plan for future development near its transportation hubs. Not only is the capital city home to the Trenton Transit Center, which features Amtrak trains with service throughout the East Coast, New Jersey Transit’s Northeast Corridor Line to Newark and New York, SEPTA’s Trenton Line to Center City Philadelphia, and the River Line light rail to Burlington County and Camden, but the latter route also has two additional stops within city limits at Hamilton Avenue and Cass Street.
Already, Trenton is beginning to see some residential projects and proposals near these stations. The most visible of these is the Roebling Lofts project near the Hamilton Avenue Station, which involved the adaptive reuse of a former wire rope manufacturing building. It is the first stage of a new community known as Roebling Center that will be developed using existing and upcoming buildings just east of the River Line tracks.
In order to prepare for the possibility of additional construction, resident input is being sought as the City of Trenton creates a Strategic Development Plan for the neighborhoods surrounding each of these stations. According to the City, a public open house will be held as part of the Trenton250 master plan this Wednesday, November 15th between 4:30pm at 7:00pm in the atrium of City Hall, located at 319 East State Street. Feedback from Trentonians is being sought for this initiative, which is a partnership between the City’s Department of Housing and Economic Development’s Planning Division, the Downtown Trenton-based New Jersey Future smart growth organization, and the Local Planning Services office from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, according to an event flyer.
The City’s website states that Trenton250 is aiming to set goals for the municipality by the time of its 250th anniversary in 25 years. A new website for this master plan was recently launched to provide more information about the possible future of Trenton. Some of the outlined proposals that exist already include increasing market-rate housing in Downtown Trenton, developing a ‘live-work community’ with affordable housing in the Old Trenton neighborhood, redesigning and possibly renaming Broad and Warren Streets, and creating a long-term plan regarding municipal library branches that were shut down nearly a decade ago.