Teamwork Leads to TOD Project
A long-standing partnership between Somerset County and the Borough of Somerville has helped pave the way for a new Transit Oriented Development project next to the Somerville Train Station. NJ TRANSIT announced the project on July 1.
“We congratulate the borough on the launch of this long-awaited piece of its landfill-redevelopment puzzle,” said Freeholder Brian G. Gallagher, a former Somerville mayor who was involved in the planning on the municipal side for more than a decade.“The county has a special relationship with the borough as the county seat,” he noted, adding that the Board of Freeholders has leveraged resources for this project based on the unique needs of the borough. These include:
- Providing planning and engineering expertise for the Davenport Street tunnel project connecting Main Street to the overall landfill redevelopment area, including the train station. This project is critical to connecting redevelopment and residential development in particular with downtown Somerville.
- Funding and facilitating the original community visioning sessions as part of the county’s Economic Development Incentive Program. During these sessions, local residents advocated for residential development on the NJ Transit property.
- Providing funding to Somerville through the EDIP for the planning and environmental analysis used to create the redevelopment framework that led to the TOD project.
The county/borough partnership also includes ongoing shared services – 911 dispatching, engineering and public health – that provide quality-of-life amenities that have helped make the county seat attractive both to residents and to developers, Freeholder Gallagher said.
NJ TRANSIT has announced a partnership with Somerset Development LLC to create a mixed-use TOD project through a sale-and-lease agreement with the developer for land adjacent to the Somerville Train Station. Residential and business development, plus a new road linking Route 206 to the station, are among the project’s anticipated benefits.
Somerset Development has purchased approximately 31 acres of land for $11 million for the new TOD. The company also has leased a subdivided land area from NJ TRANSIT to construct, operate and manage a 526-space structured parking facility over a 37-year term. The parking facility will be shared by NJ TRANSIT commuters, residents and retail users. Somerset Development will provide interim commuter parking during construction phasing.
Preliminary construction activities will commence this summer and construction of the commuter parking facility will begin in 2020. Overall project construction will be phased over four years and is anticipated to be finished in 2023.
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