Enjoy this select gallery of photos from Redevelopment Forum 2017, sponsored by Greenbaum Rowe Smith & Davis LLP and Kitchen & Associates, and then take a look at the full album over on our flickr site!
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!
At one of the breakout sessions at this year’s Redevelopment Forum, Joe Getz from the downtown economic-consulting organization JGSC Group gave a clinic on the importance of using good data to make decisions on downtown redevelopment projects. The familiar developer refrain “We’ve done this many times,” he cautioned, “is not data.”
There are lots of kinds of data besides demographic and Census data, he said, including interviews, surveys, and economic analysis. Such data tell us who will buy the housing we plan to build; who will shop in the stores; who will dine in the restaurants and what kind of dining they like. Census data doesn’t include any of those things, but they’re crucial to putting together redevelopment plans that will work.
“It’s the best of times; it’s the worst of times” is how moderator Tony Marchetta from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency kicked off the affordable housing session at this year’s Redevelopment Forum.
It’s the best of times, he said, because courts are now starting to get specific about municipal obligations, and, at the federal level, there is a push to expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit by 50 percent.
New Jersey Future’s 2017 Redevelopment Forum featured among its breakout sessions a two-part series on redefining suburbs to adapt to changing demographic realities. The morning session highlighted demographic and economic trends that are driving new demand for in-town living and “live-work-play” environments. The afternoon session then featured practitioners who have worked on projects of various types that had in common the goal of attracting new residents who are looking for a compact, walkable, mixed-use center.
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.
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.