New Jersey Future Redevelopment Forum

Federal Tools: Threats and Opportunities

Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoff Anderson

How will the new presidential administration’s policies affect redevelopment at the state level?

At New Jersey Future’s annual Redevelopment Forum, Smart Growth America President and Chief Executive Officer Geoff Anderson provided an overview of where he thought the threats were, and where some potential opportunities lie.

Mr. Anderson (presentation) began with some stage-setting. He highlighted several of the new administration’s stated priorities that come with hefty price tags, including tax reform and an anticipated infrastructure spending bill, while at the same time noting a strong reluctance among federal lawmakers to raising any new money. That means, he said, money for the administration’s priorities will have to come from somewhere, be it tax credits or cuts in other areas.

Regionalizing Coastal Resilience

New Jersey has been developing densely and extensively along its 125-mile coast and fragile barrier islands for more than three centuries. Hurricane Sandy was a wake-up call that storms are becoming increasingly frequent, severe and destructive as sea levels rise more and more rapidly. As a result, there is a growing awareness of the need to rethink the state’s development patterns. And because these growing threats ignore municipal borders, they seem to call for a regional response. This roundtable discussion explored what that response might look like and how it could be implemented to help us begin to reimagine our coast.

How Downtown Retail is Changing

Downtown Bordentown. Photo courtesy of JGSC Group.

Downtowns across New Jersey are facing a unique set of challenges. While many towns are seeing a rise in the number of people who want to live in a walkable, mixed-use town center, they are also facing the challenges of keeping their downtowns vibrant and full of retail tenants when New Jerseyans increasingly do most of their shopping on laptops and not in stores.

The Changing Downtown Retail Paradigm, a panel discussion led by Debra Tantleff, the founding principal of TANTUM Real Estate, focused on the trends that were bringing more people downtown and the hindrances that developers, mayors, and others were encountering in trying to capitalize on these trends.

Less Parking, Better Management

The Ferren Parking Deck in New Brunswick during its recent demolition. Photo courtesy of Jim Zullo, Timothy Haahs & Associates.

If you were planning to build a parking structure, would you invest in a 30-year bond to finance it?

That’s the question Bob Goldsmith, partner and co-chairman of redevelopment and land use for Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP, posed at the beginning of the Redevelopment Forum session entitled “The Future of Parking, Today.” The session explored whether the decades-long, ever-expanding demand for parking that has influenced the form of urban areas throughout the country will decline as market forces shift and alternative transportation options proliferate.

Redevelopment Forum a Success!

Despite predictions for snowy weather, more than 500 people turned out for Redevelopment Forum 2017. They were treated to a day full of thought-provoking presentations and valuable insights in to the best way to move redevelopment forward in New Jersey as a way to grow.

And we made the news! NJTV News was on site for most of the morning, interviewing a variety of speakers on issues ranging from investing in infrastructure to investing in Millennials. Their clip is below. We’ll have a full photo gallery up soon.

Save the date! The 2018 Redevelopment Forum will be Friday, March 9, at the Hyatt Regency New Brunswick. See you there!

Save the Date! Redevelopment Forum 2017 is March 10

rf17-logoSave the date! Redevelopment Forum 2017 will be Friday, March 10. Check back soon for more information on sponsorship opportunities and event registration.

Meantime, we’re taking session suggestions! If you have a great idea for a panel or you know a great speaker, please tell us here! We’ll do everything we can to include it in the Redevelopment Forum program.