NJ overrun by ‘mixed use developments’ with another on the way
You’ve seen it happening all over New Jersey.
And there are probably some of these developments coming to a neighborhood near you.
They’re called “mixed-use developments,” and people either love them or hate him or a combination of both.
It’s basically a behemoth development, sprawling with apartments, townhouses, stores, entertainment venues, parks, play areas, medical centers, hotels, you name it.
All in one bazillion-acre prefab town square.
The latest example of this is Legacy Place in East Brunswick.
Located just off Route 18, at 110 Tices Lane, the 520-unit complex will offer a mix of apartments and townhouses.
The 25-acre site will have two apartment buildings with garage parking and 18,000 square feet of ground-floor retail with more suburban-style apartments and townhomes located toward the rear of the site.
There’s a huge increase in demand for this type of living environment because Baby Boomers are downsizing while Millennials are starting their careers and establishing financial independence.
The wisdom is that both of these generations will want more of these “live-work-play” communities.
Baby Boomers want easy access to entertainment venues, culture, history, dining, and shopping, while Millennials want urban transit hubs with recreational and social opportunities nearby.
The upsides are obvious.
Convenience to everything.
Especially now that more people are working remotely, you almost never have to leave your neighborhood or hop in the car for anything, since shopping, dining, gyms and just about anything else you need is right there in your self-contained community.
But the downsides?
Generally speaking, everyone hates having a mixed-used development in the town unless they are planning to live there themselves.
People just hate massive building developments because they assume that they’re going to bring traffic and urban sprawl.
But what about the people who actually consider living there?
Is it everything it’s stacked up to be?
For instance, if you’re used to privacy, there are even more people crammed into these developments than there are in your basic condo or townhouse community.
You’re going to have to get used to that.
Also, the types of businesses in your potential new neighborhood also might determine whether parking will become an issue.
Businesses in your neighborhood are visited by not just your neighbors but people from all over the area.
If you’re used to having your own parking spot, you might be fighting for one.
And what if you decide to have guests?
Will you and your neighbors be fighting with business patrons for parking spots for your visitors?
Also, are you willing to give up your yard and your barbecue?
Especially if you have kids or are planning to?
Here’s something you may never have thought of: Safety.
Crime rates tend to be higher in commercial and urban areas than in purely residential neighborhoods, mostly because of the higher concentration of potential victims.
At any rate, the popularity of these developments shows no signs of waning.
The same company building legacy place has two more coming in 2023: 147 Columbia in Florham Park, and the Metropolitan in Springfield.
If you love the idea of mixed-use development living, this is great news for you.
But if you live in these areas and hate the idea of another of these developments coming to your neighborhood, it’s time to call the realtor and start packing.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.
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