Gov. Phil Murphy recently announced that the state’s Economic Development Authority will partner with NJ Transit to redevelop land surrounding New Jersey’s train stations. The new initiative should result in many new opportunities for New Jersey businesses.

“Transit-oriented development and encouraging smart growth is one of the centerpieces of Gov. Murphy’s economic strategy,” Tim Sullivan, the CEO of the EDA, said. “The governor’s plan advances NJ Transit’s continuing efforts to promote economic growth in the state while increasing non-fare box revenue for the agency,” Nancy Snyder, a spokeswoman for NJ Transit, added.

Plan to Redevelop NJ Transit Stations

Under the plan, parking lots and other property located in close proximity to rail stations would be converted into mixed-use developments containing housing and retail businesses. The idea is to establish “villages” that spur economic activity in areas that are currently underutilized.

According to the Murphy Administration, the state plans to prioritize development around stations in Newark, Trenton, Metro Park, Jersey City, and Paterson. NJ Transit has separately targeted locations in Bordentown, Bound Brook, Camden, and Hoboken. The EDA has yet to release any information about the size of the lots and how much housing and retail space could be built. Issues regarding zoning, housing density, and the establishment of additional transit services near the properties will be addressed on a project-by-project basis, according to officials from NJ Transit and the Murphy Administration.

Existing Transit Oriented Design Developments

While this is the first time that the State of New Jersey has officially targeted transit redevelopment, it is not a new idea. In support of the initiative, Sullivan cited similar redevelopment projects on property owned by New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

In New Jersey, several local municipalities have also worked with NJ Transit. The Link at Aberdeen Station, which was the result of a partnership between NJ Transit, Aberdeen Township and the developer, opened in 2018. It features apartments, stores, restaurants and walkable access to the Aberdeen-Matawan Station.

This summer, the city of Bayonne and NJ Transit announced they are partnering on a redevelopment project that will involve the construction of multi-unit mixed-use building on what is now part of the parking lot of the 34th Street Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station.

In Somerville, a developer purchased 11 acres of land from NJ Transit, which will serve as the site for a Somerset Station transit village. The project is slated to include 370 apartments, 156 townhouses, 4,000 square feet of retail space, two parking garages, and a new road connecting Route 206 with the Raritan Valley Line rail station.

Opportunities for New Jersey Developers

Given that the Murphy Administration has stated that it plans to act quickly, we expect that the EDA and NJ Transit will announce additional details shortly, including the publication of Requests for Proposal/Qualifications/Bids.

For businesses that are interested in transit-oriented design developments, we encourage you to work with a knowledgeable New Jersey land use attorney who can guide you through every stage of the process, from proposal to construction.

If you have questions, please contact us

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the matter further, please contact me, Donald M. Pepe, or the Scarinci Hollenbeck attorney with whom you work, at 201-806-3364.

This article is a part of a series covering New Jersey's new initiative to redevelop areas near public transit centers. Additional installments from the series are listed below: