Posts tagged downtown
Downtown Montclair Development Impact Analysis

Client: Township of Montclair, NJ

Overview

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Phillips Preiss was retained by the Township of Montclair to assess the potential impacts of a major downtown mixed-use project. Notably, the development was proposed to include housing for approximately 1,000 students from a nearby state university, as well as retail, office, hotel and/or residential components. The Phillips Preiss study analyzed aesthetic, community, economic and traffic impacts and outlined a variety of possible benefits and challenges, which helped lay the groundwork for a productive discussion between the applicant, the Township and the greater Montclair community.

Results

The student housing project did not move forward, due in part to concerns about potential impacts uncovered by Phillips Preiss' study. The Township of Montclair subsequently hired Phillips Preiss to prepare a redevelopment investigation for the study area, as well as a redevelopment plan.

Epstein’s Downtown Area Rehabilitation Plan

Client: Town of Morristown, NJ

New mixed-use buildings face the Morristown Green. Upper floors are stepped back, per one of the design standards required in exchange for a height bonus.

New mixed-use buildings face the Morristown Green. Upper floors are stepped back, per one of the design standards required in exchange for a height bonus.

Courtyard and mid-block pedestrian connection behind the mixed-use building that faces the Morristown Green.

Courtyard and mid-block pedestrian connection behind the mixed-use building that faces the Morristown Green.

The new LEED-accredited office building for the Morristown Parking Authority.

The new LEED-accredited office building for the Morristown Parking Authority.

Overview

With its City Council and Planning Board at odds over approval of a major downtown redevelopment project, Phillips Preiss brokered a compromise and brought the project to a close on behalf of the Town of Morristown. Many Town leaders and residents were alarmed by the height and bulk of the project, and were also unhappy with its original design. The proposed project involved the complete redevelopment of several key, underutilized blocks abutting the Town Green, with new mixed-use development. Phillips Preiss worked with the Town to impose a series of design standards, including LEED certification, as a condition of approval in exchange for allowing building heights in excess of the current zoning.

Results

The first phase of the project, New Jersey’s first LEED Platinum building, has been completed. The plan won four statewide awards: the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association’s Outstanding Smart Growth Plan, the New Jersey Planning Officials Award for Innovative Design, Downtown New Jersey’s Excellence in Downtown Award and New Jersey Future’s Smart Growth Award for Creative Downtown Redevelopment Strategy.

Vision Plan for Downtown Woodbridge

Client: Township of Woodbridge, NJ

Street section redesign for Main Street, Woodbridge, adding bicycle lanes, street trees that will grow to a taller height than the current trees, and wider sidewalks with bulb-outs.

Street section redesign for Main Street, Woodbridge, adding bicycle lanes, street trees that will grow to a taller height than the current trees, and wider sidewalks with bulb-outs.

Main Street, Woodbridge

Main Street, Woodbridge

The creek-side park in Woodbridge

The creek-side park in Woodbridge

Overview

Downtown Vision Plan for downtown Woodbridge, NJ. The town has a nearly continuous streetwall of retail stores extending for several blocks, a beautiful creek-front park, and a train station providing direct service into Manhattan. However, the downtown has little foot traffic. While downtown has a large parking supply, it is not allocated or managed efficiently. The design of the streets and private property frontages and facades does not contribute to creating an interesting and intriguing environment for pedestrians. Several large parcels with low-intensity development offered opportunity sites for infill and intensification. Phillips Preiss developed a Vision Plan that spells out a wide range of short- and long-term improvements that would help bring more residents downtown, transform the downtown into a dining destination, and create attractive public spaces to gather and linger.