Robbinsville Town Center Receives N.J. Future Smart Growth Award

Newark, N.J.--Building pedestrian-friendly communities in auto-centric New Jersey can be difficult.

Newark, N.J.–Sharbell Development Corp., along with Feinberg and Associates, a Voorhees, N.J. based architectural design firm, and the town of Robbinsville, N.J., received an award in the New Town Center & Traditional Neighborhood Development category for Robbinsville Town Center.

The team’s core goal for the winning project involved creating a walkable and friendly, yet diverse, community. Housing styles within the center range from small-lot single-family homes, duplexes, townhomes and loft units—integrating many options, as well as inclusionary affordable housing, all in the same project. The development has attracted a wide range of residents.

The Robbinsville Town Center did present development challenges, says Bill Feinberg, president of Feinberg and Associates, such as the different types of housing types in Robbinsville Town Center, as the width of the various housing stock differs. But, he says the housing has attracted buyers, and credits Sharbell for much of that.

“The housing has high-quality exteriors,” Feinberg says. “They are very well appointed.”

The development will eventually contain eight multifamily buildings, three of which are now occupied, Feinberg says. Two buildings are now under construction, and should be completed by the end of summer.

Building pedestrian-friendly communities in auto-centric New Jersey can be difficult, Feinberg says. One key to the success of Robbinsville Town Center was that it received approval for street-level parking on a busy thoroughfare with residential and retail properties.

“You have to present a streetscape,” Feinberg says. Another key factor is a strong partnership between a developer and a municipality, and an informed community.

“Residents sometimes don’t like the sound of dense developments,” Feinberg says, but noted that resistance goes away when residents can easily walk to restaurants and shopping

New Jersey Future is a statewide research, policy and education group that advocates for sustainable growth, environmental preservation, neighborhood revitalization, and transportation choice. Founded in 1987, New Jersey Future is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and promotes smart growth in New Jersey.

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