Gary Steinfield |

New Jersey’s commuter rail stations and the underused properties near them are emerging from the recession as potential sources of untapped economic development and new tax revenue.

Robert Sciarrino/The Star-Ledger

Prior to the economic downturn, many of these properties were considered for redevelopment as “transit-oriented developments” or “TODs” because of their proximity to commuter rail stations. By definition, TODs are typically located within a half mile of a transit station, are designed to encourage use of public transportation, and are compact, walkable communities that create a desirable sense of place.

Unfortunately, many TOD redevelopment plans fell victim to the recent economic downturn and a collapse in real estate prices as demand softened and financing dried up. As the head of a development company, I saw this change firsthand. {….}