A tipster sent along renderings for a project slightly removed from the core of the New York region, but nonetheless impressive; the new buildings will add to the New Brunswick Transit Village, which has been gradually evolving into a high-density and mixed-use neighborhood over the past several years. DEVCO is the developer, and the architect is unnamed.
The third phase of the Transit Village will deliver one million square feet of office space, over 500 residences, and 100,000 square feet of street-front retail. Previous work has been significantly more subdued in scope, though another 23-story tower was recently completed.
While more in-depth views of the Transit Village’s interwoven pedestrian passageways are missing, the two overview shots are promising, as is the mix of uses. Given Rutgers’ significant presence, the city has potential to expand further, as a vibrant and urban node that caters to both students and professionals while also evolving as a vertical campus.
Most developments in New Brunswick have large parking components, which detract from overall aesthetics, but are necessary given the lack of comprehensive local public transit. As its population continues to increase, the growth of the revitalized Downtown area should create a need for more car-free options, resulting in a feedback loop that could ultimately foster more density with less parking.
Still, the renderings of the Transit Village’s latest phase are promising, and the development will have a significant positive impact on its surrounds. Parking will be concealed away from the pedestrian sphere, and ground floor retail will be augmented with sidewalks both adjacent and above, creating additional open space for office workers.
As a college town, New Brunswick has potential that other peripheral nodes do not; if growth can build on the city’s proximity to New York and access to the human capital at Rutgers, then a walkable, vibrant, and desirable Downtown will continue to sprout. The expansion of the ‘Transit Village’ is an important step in the right direction — and with ‘critical mass’ likely imminent, the project may ultimately result in other new developments springing up nearby.
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