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Boom Time For NJ Real Estate As Two New Tunnels Are Planned From Penn Station

The commute to and from New Jersey might get a lot easier soon with the addition of these two tunnels

By Jeff Vasishta October 21, 2016
Photo courtesy of 5 things I learned today

Considering the two existing tunnels under the Hudson River were built over 100 years ago, it’s about time authorities considered additional subterranean thoroughfares. Well, finally, all parties involved in raising the $24 billion needed appear to have a pep in their step. Two additional tunnels connecting NY and NJ from Penn station are being placed on a fast track, which is the opposite of what commuters currently ride on. It’s a move that will have New Jersey residents jumping onto their sofas Tom Cruise style as it could finally mean an end to the troublesome connections at Secaucus Junction and Hoboken—and a boon for NJ real estate.

Related: The Physics Of Gentrification: Newark’s Explosive Growth Has A Price

If you were under the impression that such a monumental undertaking as tunneling under a river was a decades long proposition, think again. Modern technology means that a start date of 2019 would see completion by 2024. With all parties—Amtrak, Senator Chuck Shumer, Governor Chris Christie and the US Department of Transportation coming together, it’s impressive as to what can be achieved.

Photo courtesy of The New York Times
Photo courtesy of The New York Times

“There is simply no time to waste when it comes to the countless jobs that depend on a safe and functioning gateway tunnel,” Schumer said in a statement that is already being compared to some of Churchill’s finest. “Now, we must continue moving full-speed ahead, ensuring the federal grant dollars are ready to use, and lengthy reviews sped up.”

That news is likely to have New Jersey developers scrambling for their hardhats while their spouses book extravagant vacations. A direct train service will increase the value of North Jersey real estate by billions of dollars, generating new tax revenue for local governments, development experts told NorthJersey.com.

“It’s big,” said Janna Chernetz, New Jersey policy director for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, which promotes transit-oriented growth. And she wasn’t talking about the average sized McMansion developers will be eyeing up after the boom.  “Property values will increase and allow for more vibrant downtowns and transit hubs.”

New transfers that were made possible by the completion of the Secaucus Junction train station in 2003, caused the value of residential properties in New Jersey to surge by $11 billion. That, in turn, generated $250 million in new tax revenues, according to the Regional Plan Association. “Something like this has enormous economic potential,” said Martin E. Robins, founding director of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University. Indeed, Bergen County enclaves in New Jersey such as Alpine and Closter are already on amongst of the priciest in the county. Values will receive an additional turbo boost.

With the new Penn Station ambitiously scheduled to be completed in 2020 and the newer tunnels four years later, coupled with the developments in the works for NYC’s other main transit hubs—Grand Central Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal—the city that never sleeps has finally woken up to the demands of its long suffering commuters. Bout time.

Current commercial developments in the Penn Station/34th St area include a four-story, 35,000 Square Foot Retail Project at 257-263 West 34th St. The developers are Cornell Realty Management.

Next door, former Cornell Reality partners in the above project, Chetrit Group filed applications for a 32-Story, 300-Key Hotel and retail complex.

 

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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