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March 2014

Six developers in running to build ‘tourist destination’ at old military base in Bayonne, NJ

Felix Alarcon | The Jersey Journal

The Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor on March 30, 2014. Michael Dempsey/The Jersey Journal

Six developers are in the running to develop a 57-acre site at the old military base in Bayonne with housing, retail, and tourist-related amenities, such as a luxury hotel and ferry service across New York Bay, city officials announced Friday.

“The development groups submitted an impressive array of proposals for the future of this prime waterfront area,” said Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith. “We are very optimistic about the responses that we have received.”

Even though the city sold 130 acres at the old military base that juts out into New York Bay to the Port Authority in 2010 for $235 million, there are still dozens of sites the city intends to develop on the property and the 57-acre tract known as the Harbor Station South, is one of them, city officials said.

According to the 21-page request-for-proposal the city issued in December, the city “envisions the 57-acre site as a transit-oriented mixed-use development with a preference for retail and commercial development that includes amenities that complement the adjacent Royal Caribbean cruiseport operations such as a luxury hotel and supporting retail services.” {….}

From cash to marketing, Prince George’s throwing everything at transit-oriented development

Michael Neibauer

Prince George’s County is launching an initiative to draw new development to its underdeveloped Metro stations, establishing five high-priority sites for transit-oriented projects and offering a raft of incentives to spur interest.

Those sites are Largo Town Center, New Carrollton ( future home to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development), Prince George’s Plaza, Branch Avenue and Suitland.

Despite growing demand for walkable, mixed-use transit-accessible communities, the private sector has yet to embrace Prince George’s 15 Metro stations for that type of development, the county acknowledges.

“Even as new economic development incentive tools are made available, and significant reforms of county processes are underway, far too often we find deals that simply cannot close because of a real or perceived gap in projected Return on Investment, and they fall by the wayside,” the county explains in its “Jump-Starting Transit-Oriented Development” planning document. {….}  Learn more about Transit Oriented Development  at TRAdvisors.com.

Parking Madness: Portland vs. El Cerrito, California

The contenders in today’s Parking Madness competition prove parking craters can happen anywhere, even in progressive metro areas where the regional economy is booming and transit is a solid travel option.

This face-off to get one step closer to the Golden Crater pits Portland, Oregon, against El Cerrito, California. {….}

parking_madness_2014_7

Learn more about TOD at TRAdvisors.com

Developers sought for College Park Metro area

Eleanor Mueller | The Diamondback

Prince George’s County officials are looking for developers to submit designs for an 8.3-acre site across from the College Park Metro Station.

Officials hope to create a transit-oriented community that could include lodging, residential, retail and office space. The development would be tailored toward professionals working in the area or commuting to Washington, College Park Economic Development Coordinator Michael Stiefvater said.

The county filed a request for applications from developers March 13 to present ideas for the space. The request is essentially an open invitation for developers to submit design concepts for consideration by landowners, including the county, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and the Castle family, a private party that owns parcels of the land.

“There’s a set of documents including conceptual plans that interested developers must submit by the April 25 deadline,” Stiefvater said.

Stiefvater met with developer representatives March 17 to educate them about the landowners’ expectations for development proposals, College Park District 1 Councilman Fazlul Kabir said.

Stiefavter’s audience was three times the normal size for such information sessions, Prince George’s County spokesman Scott Peterson said.

“There’s a number of parties interested [in developing the site],” Kabir said. “They don’t yet know what will go there, but they’re looking for an office park or mixed-use community.” {….}

HAP gets in on Jersey City redevelopment action

Linda O’Flanagan | Real Estate Weekly

The transformation of Jersey City’s Journal Square took another step forward today (Wednesday) when HAP Investments LLC announced it is in contract to buy a nearly one-acre site at 500 Summit Avenue where it will build a high rise apartment building, offices and retail.

“We are excited to have purchased this strategic site in Jersey City and look foKushner Real Estate has plans for a three-tower development in Journal Square.rward to building a future development that will provide new rental housing for local residents as well as others in the Metropolitan area, in addition to adding needed office and community facilities to this thriving urban location. HAP Investments is also committed to sound environmental development, and to creating an open urban green space environment for this project,” said Eran Polack, CEO, HAP Investments.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the New York based investment and development company paid $28 million for the site, currently occupied by a parking lot.

The proposed tower, to be known as HAP Tower, will have views of Manhattan from a majority of the floors. The site can accommodate a 42-story rental building with commercial office and community facility space. The anticipated cost of the one million square foot development is estimated to be $400 million, according to HAP.. {….} Learn more about TOD at TRAdvisors.com

Transit-Oriented Development Benefiting North Texas Real Estate

Digital Journal

Where there is public transit there is demand for real estate growth, and that has especially been the case in North Texas. Prudential Texas Properties reports that the results of a recent study from DART and the University of North Texas found massive real estate growth along DART rail stations over the past 17 years.

The Dallas Morning News reported January 28 that since the very beginning, with the Mockingbird Station originally announced in 1997, the private sector has invested more than $1.5 billion in various real estate developments along the rail stations.

While a decent amount of that $1.5 billion was for commercial real estate projects and ventures designed to bring increased economic activity throughout North Texas, the vast majority was put toward residential real estate growth. In fact, more than $1.1 billion in property value was for residences, and also for retail construction close to the transit locations.

“Residential and commercial real estate growth often go hand in hand,” said DD Flynn, VP of Marketing with Prudential Texas Properties. “Where there is economic opportunity, there will be demand to live close by and where there is a high concentration of people living in one area, commercial growth will follow.” {….} Learn more about TOD at TRAdvisors.com

$6.5M Funding Gap for Union Station in Raleigh

Ariella Monti | Raleigh Public Record

Raleigh officials will have to come up with an additional $6.5 million to completely fund all elements of the new Union Station.

The city already has about $66.25 million in hand from state, federal and city funding, but the total cost of the first phase of the project is estimated to come in at about $73 million. Additional funding is needed to cover the construction of Union Plaza, a stormwater garden and an Amtrak crew base addition.

union_station_layout

To close the funding gap, the city could scale down the plan, consider bond funding or special tax districts, or tap into some existing grant opportunities. The stormwater garden, for example, could qualify for the city’s own stormwater cost share assistance program.

Councilors got an update on the station at its Tuesday work session, but much of the conversation centered on a future bus hub that would come as part of the second phase of the project, which is currently unfunded. {….}

Construction to start soon on Maryland housing agency offices in Prince George’s

Luz Lazo | The Washington Post

When construction begins next month on the new headquarters for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, it will mark the beginning of a long-awaited redevelopment of Prince George’s County’s busiest transit hub.

The headquarters, scheduled to open in spring 2015, will anchor a development featuring offices, housing and shops near the New Carrollton Metro station in central Prince George’s.

State and county leaders say they hope the project, and the construction of a Purple Line light-rail station in the area, will spur the kind of growth needed to transform New Carrollton from a place mostly known as a transportation hub into a vibrant urban center.

“We have lagged behind in Metro station area development. This is a breakthrough effort in the county to turn that around,” said David S. Iannucci, a top economic development aide to County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D). “This will create the energy and the momentum to make that area a true transit-oriented area.” {….}

 

Downtown Edmonton arena isn’t pushing Boyle Street anywhere

Dave Lazzarino | Edmonton Sun

The first events to be held at the downtown arena will likely be a hot ticket.

But while the $600-million structure is being built at 104 Street and 104 Avenue, few have a ringside seat for the action like Julian Daly.

As executive director of the 10116 105 Ave. Boyle Street Community Services, Daly’s office looks out onto the site where 150 to 300 dump trucks of dirt will be removed each day for the next six weeks to prepare for the arena.

The impact on Boyle Street was on his mind long before the diggers began their work.

“For the last two, perhaps even three years, the impending arena development has been top of mind for us,” said Daly. “It was clear to us for several years now that it was more than likely to happen and if it did happen that would have huge implications for us — we go from being on the margins to right in the center of it.” {….}

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