Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces

 

202 Park Centers Connectivity, Accessibility, and Affordability

Project Name: 202 Park

New riverfront development in Cherry Hill that provides a variety of housing options, as well access to recreational and commercial activities.

Primary Partner Team: Cherry Hill Township; Alberto & Associates; Marathon Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc.; Thomas J. Brennan Architects; Stuart Associates

 


“Having a community that opens into Cooper River Park and still has direct frontage on Route 70 and close proximity to Center City and Camden will also help make 202 Park a tremendous success,” John Cranmer, director of development for First Montgomery, said in a 2018 interview. “We look forward to being an excellent addition to the community and a good neighbor.” Four years later, the park is receiving a Smart Growth Award for its innovative and holistic approach to recreation, community development, and resilience.

While New Jersey is often cited as the densest state in the country, not all corners of the state have been developed evenly. This is particularly true throughout South Jersey, despite regular, reliable train access to Philadelphia along the PATCO line. The 202 Park development in Cherry Hill, just a few miles outside of Camden City, has provided a variety of housing options within a new development adjacent to the Cooper River, encouraging residents to walk, bike, and roll to access commercial and recreational activities within convenient reach. What once was a blighted riverfront has been redeveloped into a space housing 192 units, ranging from affordable housing to luxury penthouse apartments. Developments like this are uncommon in South Jersey, given the design of communities as more geographically sparse, which contributes to less walkable streets and more difficulty in accessing public transit and community spaces.

Of its 192 units, 15% of the 202 Park’s housing units are designated as affordable housing, starting at $350 per month. This is significantly more affordable than the average cost of a one bedroom in the rest of Camden County, at over $1,000 monthly, or statewide, at over $1,300 a month. The development provides direct access to the Cooper River Park, as well as walking trails, open space, and a bike network directly adjacent to 202 Park Boulevard. The 202 Park also incorporates sustainable design elements including rooftop solar and electric vehicle charging stations, demonstrating the team’s commitment to smart growth and sustainability. The park is accessible to two train lines and a NJ Transit bus route. Various opportunities for recreational activity at the park brings the community together: at sunset, it is not uncommon to see joggers, bicyclists, kayakers, dog walkers, and youth groups all enjoying the space. This easily accessible recreational space connects Cherry Hill community members with nature, promoting an equitable, healthy community.

Throughout the process, the 202 Park team has actively sought constructive community engagement and input in the project’s development. The team—consisting of representatives from Cherry Hill Township; Alberto & Associates; Marathon Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc.; Thomas J. Brennan Architects; and Stuart Associates—have demonstrated a commitment to deliberately considering planning, design, and execution for the 202 Park project. Lacking strong examples of courtyard development in New Jersey, the project team embarked on a road trip to Baltimore, MD and Richmond, VA to document exemplary courtyard developments that promote good urbanism and attract diverse residents from different socio-economic statuses.

New Jersey Future is thrilled to announce the 202 Park project as a Smart Growth Award winner for 2022. The project’s adherence to smart growth principles—including walkable, bikeable public spaces, affordable housing, sustainable design, and access to public transit—indicates the value of the 202 Park for Cherry Hill, for South Jersey, and for the state, serving as a model for comparable projects.

 

See all 2022 Smart Growth Awards winners

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