NORTH BRUNSWICK – Shop. Dine. Ride. Live.
The tagline for the MainStreetNB transit village project will soon be complete, as township, county and state officials joined together to announce the progression of the “ride” component.
On Oct. 28, dozens of residents and dignitaries joined together at The Greene Turtle restaurant on the site of the transit village on Route 1 in North Brunswick to announce $50 million in funding from the Transportation Trust Fund for the train station.
“It’s a great occasion. It’s an important occasion. Great things are happening,” North Brunswick Mayor Francis “Mac” Womack said. “This is a wonderful and proud day for North Brunswick. It won’t be long until we’re standing right over there, checking our watches, waiting to see when the next train is coming in.”
Womack said that North Brunswick has a rich history, since residents were once able to walk to Adams Station and take a train to the Woolworth building in New York City or the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.
“The historic connections with the rails within our community are long and rich,” he said.
Johnson & Johnson had closed its North Brunswick facility in 2004. In 2006, North Brunswick TOD Associates acquired the property. In 2013, NJ Transit went out to bid on the preliminary engineering, design and construction of the train station and flyover tracks.
“This is a watershed moment in the pursuit of the North Brunswick station. For decades, the people in this region have been deprived the opportunity to easily access transit. This new station will fill the longest gap on the Northeast Corridor between Princeton and New Brunswick to provide access to the residents and businesses along the Route 1 corridor in Central New Jersey. And, the station will anchor a vibrant mixed use transit village which itself brings many benefits to the region,” said Jonathan Frieder, principal of TOD Associates.
The more than 1 million-square-foot mixed-use development located on 212 acres currently has Target, Costco and The Greene Turtle operating, with Panera, a Marriott and housing being built. In total, there will be 150,000 square feet of retail space 50,000 square feet of restaurants, 195,000 square feet of office space, the hotel with 120 rooms, 1,875 housing units comprising multi-family rentals and for-sale units, and the New Jersey Transit Train Station with 1,300 parking spaces. Part of the housing units were contingent upon receiving train station approval.
“When a town achieves its goals, and I’m talking about big-picture goals, that’s a day for celebration,” Sen. Bob Smith said. “This is the culmination of 20 years of your hard work. This is all part of a long Master Plan, decisions of the mothers and fathers of North Brunswick.”
Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ron Rios said that the county will support the project by constructing the parking facilities.
He said the train station will raise the quality of life in the area while also removing automobile traffic, thereby improving the life of existing infrastructure.
“This is not just for us, or for the region or for the state,” Womack said. “Today, we are proud to be a community whose defining feature is our inclusivity and our connectivity.”
Contact Jennifer Amato at email@example.com.