February 4th, 2014 by Chris Sturm
Critical Improvements Still Needed
The newly released Substantial Amendment for the Second Allocation of CDBG-DR funds, intended to guide the disbursement of $1.46 billion in Sandy recovery assistance, represents a step forward in both resiliency language and public involvement, but misses key steps needed to ensure taxpayer dollars are wisely spent to make New Jersey “Stronger than the Storm”.
“New Jersey Future congratulates the Christie administration on its positive steps in public outreach and discussing the importance of forward-looking planning,” said Peter Kasabach, executive director. “We call on the administration to make these steps even more meaningful by sharing data used to allocate federal funds and establishing more detailed future-oriented risk criteria that ensures residents and businesses are not put back in harm’s way.” Read the rest of this entry »
January 29th, 2014 by Nicholas Dickerson
In his keynote address at the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association’s annual conference Jan. 24, real estate expert Jeffrey Otteau, president of the Otteau Valuation Group, issued a stern challenge to planners: Big changes to municipal land use regulations are needed, and they are needed now.
Historically, the demands of municipal budgets have pushed New Jersey municipalities to zone for and build millions of square feet of retail and office space. Why? Those uses bring property tax dollars in to local coffers and place low demand on services, while conventional wisdom says housing brings costly schoolchildren. As a result of shifts in the economy and market preferences, Otteau said, New Jersey is now left with a glut of aging suburban office parks, sprawling retail “towne centres,” and higher-density but age-restricted adult communities. How big a glut? According to Otteau’s projections based on the current rate of real estate absorption in New Jersey, it will take 11 years to utilize the existing supply of age-restricted housing. The existing supply of retail space is enough to meet demand until 2031, and our current supply of office space will meet our needs through 2043. (As a point of comparison, the vacancy rate for office space on the I-287 corridor is as high as 22.4 percent. The vacancy rate for office space in Detroit presently stands at 26.5 percent.) Read the rest of this entry »
January 28th, 2014 by Tim Evans
The End of Sprawl?
Did the 2008 recession really rewrite the development playbook? Are demographics really destiny (pdf)? Commentators of many stripes have recently been declaring that the age of suburbanization is at an end, and that the future of land development is going to look a lot like the past, with people returning in droves to in-town living. Now, some of their prognostications are actually starting to show up in data. Our two-part series takes a look at some of the sorts of data patterns that one would expect to see if we really were standing at the threshold of a new era of redevelopment. Part I of a two-part series.
The most recent county and municipal population estimates in New Jersey (for 2012) suggest that the growing popularity of redevelopment shows no sign of abating, and may be accelerating. Indeed, older, built-out places seem to be weathering the lingering effects of the recession much better than the formerly high-flying outer-suburban counties. Read the rest of this entry »
January 28th, 2014 by Elaine Clisham
On Jan. 11, The New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ) honored New Jersey Future Executive Director Peter Kasabach as an individual who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to both his local community and the evolving built infrastructure in the post-Hurricane Sandy New Jersey in 2013.
Bestowed during the organization’s awards gala, AIA-NJ’s Service Awards are designed to honor the work of the state’s most talented and forward-thinking architects and firms.
Kasabach received the Resident of the Year Award for his commitment to smart growth as executive director of New Jersey Future. In addition to his efforts to curb suburban sprawl and promote walkability statewide, Kasabach is very active in the Trenton community. He previously chaired Artworks visual arts center, which created Art All Night; founded the Trenton Preservation Committee; and coordinated the neighborhood-led South Broad Street Vision Plan.
“Our Service Awards provide AIA-NJ’s members with a much-deserved stage for their personal and professional endeavors,” said Michael Hanrahan, AIA, who served as chair of AIA-NJ’s Service Awards committee. “I’m proud to say that each of the winners have significantly advanced not only the architectural profession, but also the communities in which they live and work.”
Other Service Award recipients were:
- Kurt M. Kalafsky, AIA, of Howell, N.J., received the “Distinguished Service Award” for his 30-plus years of dedication to the architectural profession.
- Joshua Zinder, AIA, founder of Joshua Zinder Architecture + Design in Princeton, N.J., earned the “Architect of the Year Award” for his wide-ranging work on high-end commercial, institutional, residential and sustainable architecture.
- KSS Architects, a full-service architecture, planning, and interior design firm in Princeton, N.J., and Philadelphia, Pa., received “Architectural Firm of the Year Award” for its design and leadership on behalf of clients in the fields of education, culture, land development, urban development, and corporate environments.
- Manuel Pereiras, AIA, of Union City, N.J., was presented with the “Young Architect of the Year Award” for his extensive work in the commercial and residential sectors in Northern New Jersey.
- Victoria Pivovarnick of Princeton, N.J., took home the “Intern Architect of the Year Award,” for her accomplishments in the six years she has spent at KSS Architects
January 16th, 2014 by Elaine Clisham
Seth Pinsky, who from 2008 to 2013 served as president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), will deliver the luncheon keynote at New Jersey Future’s annual Redevelopment Forum.
Pinsky recently joined RXR Realty, Inc., a New York real estate operating company, where he serves as executive vice president, fund manager, metro emerging markets and public affairs director. He is responsible for leading RXR’s efforts to invest in emerging opportunities in New York City and the surrounding Tri-State region, focusing on asset classes and geographic regions that have historically been characterized by underinvestment, but that have significant growth potential due to planned or in-place infrastructure and offer opportunities for growth. Read the rest of this entry »
November 19th, 2013 by Nicholas Dickerson
Revisions (P.L.2013, c. 106) to New Jersey’s Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL) last August permit municipalities to direct land development and preservation through a newly-enhanced noncontiguous cluster tool. To promote interest in and adoption of noncontiguous cluster ordinances, New Jersey Future will sponsor a competitive grant opportunity for the planning and development of a municipal noncontiguous clustering program. Through funding from the Bunbury Company, New Jersey Future is able to offer grant funding for eligible jurisdictions to explore the development of a noncontiguous cluster program through a feasibility study; adopt a noncontiguous cluster ordinance; or overhaul an existing noncontiguous cluster ordinance. New Jersey jurisdictions interested in pursuing a noncontiguous cluster ordinance are encouraged to apply for a $5,000 competitive planning grant from New Jersey Future. The grant application may be downloaded here: PDF | Word with interactive fields. Read the rest of this entry »
November 14th, 2013 by Elaine Clisham
On Nov. 14, the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the 10 finalist projects in its Rebuild by Design competition, an international effort to bring resilient design solutions to the areas of the region most affected by Superstorm Sandy. Five of the 10 focus either on specific areas in New Jersey, or on regional solutions that include New Jersey. Two of those focus specifically on building a more resilient Shore area, including how to preserve the Shore’s unique culture and how to strengthen its commercial elements. A third project focuses on floodwater management in the city of Hoboken, a fourth on making the Meadowlands area more vibrant and at the same time more resilient, and a regional project addresses the pros and cons of implementing natural protective barriers along the mid-Atlantic coastline. Read the rest of this entry »
November 13th, 2013 by Peter Kasabach
New HUD Sandy Funding Notice Focuses on Infrastructure and Requires Forward-Looking Risk Assessments, Including Considerations of Climate Change
The notice provides additional guidance and direction for the state to conduct science-based risk assessments that will be used to inform infrastructure investments, stating: “Each grantee must describe the science-based risk analysis it has or will employ to select, prioritize, implement, and maintain infrastructure projects or activities. At a minimum, the grantee’s analysis must consider a broad range of information and best available data, including forward-looking analyses of risks to infrastructure sectors from climate change and other hazards, such as the Northeast United States Regional Climate Trends and Scenarios from the U.S. National Climate Assessment, the Sea Level Rise Tool for Sandy Recovery, or comparable peer-reviewed information, as well as the regional analysis developed in Phase 2 of the Rebuild by Design competition.” Read the rest of this entry »
November 5th, 2013 by Nicholas Dickerson
New Jersey Future offers two webinars and a grant to encourage use of updated noncontiguous cluster development tools.
Municipalities interested in planning for compact, walkable communities while preserving open space, farmland, or historic sites should be interested in recent revisions (P.L.2013, c. 106) to New Jersey’s Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL) that enhance municipal land use tools to direct development and preservation. To introduce planners, municipal officials and interested citizens to these updated tools, New Jersey Future and its partners will host a two-part webinar series (Part 1 has been approved for 1.0 AICP-CM credit. Part 2 has been approved for 1.5 AICP-CM Law credits, CLE credits are pending.) this December. The first webinar, on Tuesday, Dec. 3, introduces the enhanced clustering tools for a general audience. The second webinar, on Tuesday, Dec. 10, will examine more of the technical details associated with implementing a non-contiguous cluster plan, and is geared toward municipal planners and attorneys. Attendees of both webinars will also learn more about a grant opportunity that New Jersey Future will offer municipalities for the development of a non-contiguous cluster ordinance. Both webinars are free. Read the rest of this entry »
November 4th, 2013 by Elaine Clisham
Nominations are now open for New Jersey Future’s 2014 Smart Growth Awards! Approved or built projects and adopted plans are all eligible for the awards, which are given to development initiatives throughout New Jersey that best exemplify the ideals of smart growth.
New this year is an addition to the considerations to reflect what the state has learned in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy: that we must take steps to ensure we’re more prepared for the next storm than we were for the last one. Read the rest of this entry »