Wonderland Ballroom on The Market

Seth Daniel | Revere Journal

Owners of the Wonderland Ballroom have retained a broker and are marketing the property actively, with residential transit-oriented development as a focus.

TR Advisors of Boston has been retained as the broker for the Wonderland Ballroom site, as plans for the once-talked-about 196-room hotel for the site have been abandoned.

“Our thinking really is in terms of this being a residential model property and the c to the MBTA rapid transit Blue Line to provide an ease of living that doesn’t creep into the current Boston rental rates that folks are paying,” said Phil Jean of TR Advisors. “Part of the additional value is that you are at beautiful Revere Beach and development is coming now on the Beach side of the property and also across the street the Wonderland Dog Track is in a Master Planning process or will soon be undergoing that process. In our view, the Ballroom property, given its situation and proximity to the MBTA site, affords it a very unique and exciting development opportunity.” Read more

 

Millennials care most about affordability, convenience, food

Meghan Grau | The Daily Targum

Photo by Naaz Modan | A study conducted by a team part of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy found that millennials are more likely to move into smaller homes with the weight of student debt weighing upon their consciences. Millennials are not likely to dole out cash to cover commuting expenses but will do their best to live affordably in an area with a large selection of nearby amenities, according to a study from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.

A team of Bloustein graduate students performed a study in the fall semester for their real-world client, the Somerset County Business Partnership, said Eliot Benman, one of the students involved.

The students advised Somerset County on how to create a community that will attract and retain individuals between the ages of 15 and 33, according to MyCentralJersey.com.

A previous report by the Bloustein School dean James Hughes describes challenges that counties on the edge of metropolitan areas may face in the future, said Benman, who is pursuing a master’s degree in city and regional planning.

The report prompted Somerset County planners to investigate and enlist the help of the students, particularly in understanding how to attract young, talented workers to the community, Benman said. Read more

Will the Land of Steady Habits Get on Board with BRT? 3 Days Until CTfastrak Launch

Joseph Cutrufo | Mobilizing the Region

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Bicyclists make their way through Salt Lake City traffic. Officials are pushing to promote more walking and biking as the Wasatch Front population is predicted to double in coming decades.CTfastrak, Metro Hartford’s new bus rapid transit system, will officially begin service this Saturday with nine days of free rides. The BRT system has been the topic of much conversation in Connecticut over the last few years, with more than its fair share of detractors. CTfastrak has been known to some as the “busway boondoggle” and the “busway to nowhere,” while others have wondered why the State didn’t build a light rail line on the corridor instead.

But state and local officials have been bullish on the busway, predicting that CTfastrak would spur economic development. And they were right: public and private investments have kick-started the revitalization of downtown New Britain, Newington cleaned up the former National Welding site to make way for transit-oriented development, and in Hartford, downtown buildings are being convertedinto apartments.

Connecticut is known as “The Land of Steady Habits,” so skepticism about a road designed solely for buses in a metro area where 81 percent of commuters drive alone shouldn’t be unexpected. But the opening of the busway will be an historic moment for Connecticut. CTfastrak is only the nation’s eighth full-fledged BRT system, and the only example of true BRT in the tri-state region. Read more

 

The Demise of the California Redevelopment Law

Frank V. Zerunyan | Public CEO

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Bicyclists make their way through Salt Lake City traffic. Officials are pushing to promote more walking and biking as the Wasatch Front population is predicted to double in coming decades.On June 28, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law two bills that effectively dissolved all California Redevelopment Agencies (RDAs). Through the California Redevelopment Association and the League of California Cities, local governments challenged the constitutionality of the two laws (ABx1 26 and ABx1 27) at the California Supreme Court. Unfortunately for local governments, the Court ruled in favor of the state, holding that what the state created it could legally dissolve. Despite several attempts to delay and change the rules of dissolution, there has been no indication that the Governor or the Legislature is intent in changing the status quo.

The California Legislature enacted the Community Redevelopment Act in 1945. The Act permitted cities and counties to set up redevelopment agencies (RDAs) in order to assist local governments in eliminating blight through development, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of residential, commercial, industrial, and retail districts.  The Act was codified in 1951 and made part of the California Constitution, as well as the Health and Safety Code. At that point, it became known as the Community Redevelopment Law (CRL). The most important component of the CRL was the authority of local governments to use future increases in property taxes to subsidize or pay for current infrastructures and improvements. Tax increment financing (TIF) made it possible for local governments to use this public financing method to pay for community improvement projects. Read more

 

Controversial Transit Corridor Authority Bill Will See Some Changes From Lawmakers

Local officials complained that the authority might trump local land use law with little municipal representation

Heather Brandon | WNPR.com

Sound Transit officials created a draft for the Federal Way Link Extension project, even though they only have funds for infrastructure from SeaTac to the Kent/Des Moines area. — Image Credit: Contributed PhotoLawmakers are planning changes to a controversial proposal from Governor Dannel Malloy that would enable the state to take land near transit stations.

Malloy recently put forward legislation creating a Transit Corridor Development Authority. The agency would be able to pursue transit-oriented development at all properties within a half-mile radius of the state’s bus or train stations. It would have the power of eminent domain, and the ability to issue bonds.

Local officials complained that the authority had little municipal representation, and expressed concern about whether it would trump local zoning and land use regulations.

The original legislation doesn’t require the eleven-member, appointed TCDA to gain the approval of locally-elected officials. Instead, it notes the following:

“…the chief elected official of each municipality in which an authority development project is planned shall serve as an ad hoc, nonvoting member of the board for matters affecting such project.”

Democratic Sen. Cathy Osten of Sprague, who co-chairs the Planning and Development Committee, said legislators are working on allowing for more local control in the draft bill. Legislators will also eliminate an initial proposal permitting condemnation of property. Municipalities will not be required to cooperate with the TCDA. Read more

Sound Transit presents route options for Federal Way Link Extension project

Raechel Dawson | Federal Way Mirror

Sound Transit officials created a draft for the Federal Way Link Extension project, even though they only have funds for infrastructure from SeaTac to the Kent/Des Moines area. — Image Credit: Contributed Photo

Sound Transit officials created a draft for the Federal Way Link Extension project, even though they only have funds for infrastructure from SeaTac to the Kent/Des Moines area. — Image Credit: Contributed Photo

Sound Transit officials recently presented the preliminary route and station options, and their impacts to the community, for the Federal Way Link Extension project at a Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce round table and council meeting on Tuesday.

The options are outlined in the yet-to-be-published Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Federal Way Link Extension. Sound Transit is expected to publish it in the next few weeks, which will coincide with the beginning of their public outreach and comment period on the draft findings and options.

“The first takeaway is that we’re not coming out with anything right away because there’s a lot of information to digest and to evaluate,” said Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce CEO Rebecca Martin in an interview. “The Chamber is interested in the business impact short-term, long-term and we want to make sure we’re evaluating it appropriately.” Read more

 

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