As of 1/13/10
Q. Given all of the vacant office space in Trenton, is it reasonable to expect that there is demand for a new office buildings in this area?
A. The Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit provides strong incentives for development around certain transit stations in NJ, including Trenton. Potential occupants of office space will likely look to take advantage of this tax credit. Moreover, developers will look to construct Class A office space, which is currently very limited in Trenton. The construction of any of the proposed projects will likely depend on securing a major tenant, and thus financing, before the project is constructed.
Q. Where can people get a copy of the redevelopment plan and information on specific development proposals?
A. The plan is available at City Hall in the planning department or online. Copies of plans for any specific development applications are available at the planning department for in-person viewing only.
Q. Why was the Walnut/Chesnut Street neighborhood just outside the train station area left out of the train station redevelopment plan?
A. While these neighborhoods are not included in the official train station area, it is included in the proposed plan for revitalizing the Miller Homes site. The Trenton Housing Authority is currently putting together an application to the federal HOPE VI program, which would include significant investment in this neighborhood.
Q. What is the status of bridge replacements on State, Chestnut and Monmouth Streets?
A. The bridge repair projects have been with the DOT for a long while. It has been decided that replacing the bridges is too costly and instead plans are moving ahead to rehab them using federal stimulus funds. The hope is that the design will be finished by 2010, the project will then go to bid and be completed by 2012.
Q. How is safety being addressed around the station, especially on the Greenwood Avenue side?
A. The area around the Trenton Train Station, including Greenwood Avenue, is patrolled by both the Trenton Police Department and the NJ Transit Police Department. In addition, street lights were added by the Mercer County Improvement Authority to the Greenwood Avenue area as part of streetscape improvements in the Arena Improvement District.
Q. Does the city plan to use eminent domain to implement the train station area redevelopment plan?
A. Specifically, the Vista project, located at Greenwood and Clinton avenues has one residential property in its borders and the developer is currently negotiating with that property owner in the hope that no eminent domain will be needed. On East State Street there is one apartment building near the Lee Overalls site (Nexus) where negotiations will likely be needed. Matrix will reach out to all property owners to try to negotiate without the use of eminent domain.
More generally, the adopted redevelopment plan allows for the possibility of eminent domain in the entire area; however, the City of Trenton tries to avoid the use of eminent domain wherever possible, since it typically is more time consuming, expensive and unpopular.
Q. Will new development projects hire Trenton residents as part of the construction and/or permanent workforce, and will there be employment training for these workers?
A. Currently there are no agreements in place requiring developers or tenants of buildings constructed in the Train Station area to employ or provide job training to local residents.. However, these agreements, often known as community benefits agreements, have been used in the past for other projects in the region. The organization Good Jobs First has a paper explaining Community Benefits Agreements and providing case studies.
Q. What is happening with the housing rehabilitation program near South Clinton and Pine Street?
A. The City of Trenton’s Division of Housing Production has a home improvement program in place in that area.
Q. The parking garage on the Walnut Avenue side of the station is not friendly to pedestrians and locals. Who can address this problem?
A. The NJ Transit police Trenton Command should be contacted as NJ Transit is the owner/manager of the garage. They can be reached at (609)278-3942.