Smart growth news – October 27

Apartment Values Rise, as Do Rents
Wall Street Journal, October 26, 2011
While concerns about the economy are cooling the market for most other types of commercial real estate, apartment rents and occupancies continue to be boosted by demand from millions of people who are victims of foreclosure or are unwilling or unable to buy their own homes.

NYU eyes former MTA headquarters for urban grad school in Bloomberg’s contest for new university
New York Daily News, October 26, 2011
Downtown Brooklyn would become a global hub for urban sciences if a noted local university wins a contest to develop a new applied sciences graduate school in the city.

A new look for East Riverside? Austin to highlight plan
American-Statesman (Texas), October 26, 2011
“The vision is to transform the area from an auto-dominated, aging corridor to a people-oriented destination with lots of people living, working and playing within walking distance of transit,” said Erica Leak with the city’s Planning and Development Review Department.

$200M downtown development would tie into SunRail station
Orlando Sentinel, October 24, 2011
The Central Station project is slated for a 5.6-acre parcel adjacent to the Lynx Central Station and across Orange Avenue from the Orange County Courthouse. Rida Development Corp. bought the property for $15.1 million in 2008. It would be the first example of transit-oriented development connected directly to SunRail, the 61-mile commuter train system scheduled to launch in 2014. A spine running through the center of the complex would link Orange Avenue with downtown’s main SunRail platform at the Lynx center.

Is urban renewal the proper path for a brighter downtown?
The Beaverton Valley Times (Ore.), October 27, 2011
Naysayers express concern that the lingering economic malaise makes this a questionable time to alter a property tax formula that helps support public agencies from schools to fire and rescue to parks. Others, however, say the long-term benefits from a re-energized downtown core is an effective way to look beyond the current abyss and plan smartly for recovery that’s inevitable, if not quite on the immediate horizon.

Home incentives offered to Camden workers
Courier-Post (N.J.), October 26, 2011
“Today we join prominent cities from across the nation — like Philadelphia, New York, Chicago and Baltimore — in launching an initiative designed to encourage people who work in Camden to buy homes here and raise their families here,” said Mayor Dana Redd. “Affordable, attractive housing in safe neighborhoods is a critical component of what is needed to revitalize our city.”

Ohio highway cap at forefront of urban design trend; retail complex atop Columbus expressway offers model for Chicago
Chicago Tribune, October 26, 2011
The innovative project, which opened in 2004, put Columbus at the forefront of a national trend: Covering sunken freeways with caps, decks, land bridges or lids, as they are called, and using the found space to reconnect neighborhoods that were torn apart by the national highway building binge of the 1950s and 1960s.

Opinion and Editorial

Millennials will save Detroit
The Detroit News, October 27, 2011
“We’re trying to dispel the notion that there’s nothing going on in Detroit,” says Kerry Doman, who grew up in Bloomfield Hills and moved to Detroit in 2005 because, like many postgraduates, she was “attracted to the urban lifestyle.”

Crucial zoning reforms are within reach
Philadelphia Inquirer, October 26, 2011
Over the next two months, City Council has an extraordinary opportunity to pass a new zoning code that will help the city redevelop its more than 40,000 vacant properties, revitalize its postindustrial waterfront, and preserve and improve its neighborhoods.