With 55 percent of the world’s population living in an urban area or city, according to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, it’s no wonder that transit-oriented development is on the rise .
Here on the eastern seaboard, clusters of downtown offices, industrial warehouses, and mixed-use multi-family apartment buildings run parallel to mass transit commuter lines, ridesharing, and walkable amenities. As a result, these density-rich areas are placing coveted premiums on public and private sector real estate.
“It’s not so much a reclamation, but a renaissance for smart investors,” says Jeffrey Sica, President, and CEO of Circle Squared Alternative Investments. “Hot zones such as Bayonne, Jersey City, and the borders to Philly are surrounded by major ports, distribution centers, and railways providing easy commuting, bustling commerce, and major employment.”
He adds, “As city planners focus on critical transport infrastructure, lucrative and long-term real estate investments will inevitably increase.”
In May of this year, the Bayonne planning board approved a two-building, 162-unit apartment project near one of the city’s light rail stops . As a tax-incentivized Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), Bayonne has beckoned a half-dozen projects that are set to break ground.
With neighboring backdrops including the New York Ferry and the Port of New York and New Jersey, Bayonne is a thoroughfare to nearly $2 billion worth of cargo moves and more than 280,000 commuters via the state’s PATH rail system .
This past June, Bayonne’s immediate maritime access prompted the first leg of a 153-acre waterfront site. Dubbed the Bayonne Logistics Center, plans are set to include some 1.6 million square feet of new warehouse and distribution space, in addition to a projected 2,700 new jobs .
With meccas of commerce housing manufacturing, tech, design, media, and cuisine, tenants and urban start-ups are overturning vacancies in exchange for multi-year rental leases. It’s a trend that Forbes contributor, Michelle Greenwald, strongly supports.
She says, “If you’re a start-up looking for an uplifting, positive and supportive, cross-sector work environment… you should investigate innovation hubs in the works. Since they often have reasonable rents or financial incentives to attract start-ups, sometimes in collaboration with local governments, they may not be as costly as you think” .
Yet, perhaps the most dynamic vision behind urbanized transit hubs are MODe models (Mobility-Oriented Development Benchmarks), which take into consideration four key elements: connectivity, urban environment, social placemaking, and economic development. These considerations measure for quality of life issues and downplay piecemeal infrastructure in favor of sustainable and ever-evolving mixed-use neighborhoods.
By attracting additional private investments, MODe models quicken the pace for social and economic cohesion giving private citizens, travelers and tourists, and interested investors a prosperous loop of returns. This way, the real estate transaction doesn’t stop after a building is revitalized – it’s designed to reverberate to the next initiative stretching dollars and sense .
Looking to invest in the real economy? Take a look at Circle Squared Alternative Investment’s current projects across the tri-state suburban and urban areas.
 (Meredith, CNBC, 2018)
 (Burd, Real Estate New Jersey, 2018)
 (Choose New Jersey, 2018)
 (Burd, Real Estate New Jersey, 2018)
 (Greenwald, Forbes, 2018)
 (Infrastructure USA, 2018)
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