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Greater Trenton Study Highlights Strong Housing Demand

George Sowa, founding CEO of Greater Trenton, economic development nonprofit to attract business development to Trenton George Sowa, founding CEO of Greater Trenton, economic development nonprofit to attract business development to Trenton. (Steve Lubetkin Photo/StateBroadcastNews.com)

TRENTON, NJ—There is strong demand for nearly 800 housing units in downtown Trenton for young singles and couples, according to a study sponsored by Greater Trenton, the organization promoting economic revitalization in New Jersey’s capital city.

The study, conducted in conjunction with the Trenton Parking Authority, reveals a strong demand for up to 760 housing units in downtown Trenton over the next five years with younger singles and couples representing 68 percent of the need.

Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson (Steve Lubetkin Photo/StateBroadcastNews.com) Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson

“We’re excited about Trenton’s growing residential market demand, which will help fuel economic activity throughout the city,” says Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson. “More residential and mixed-use development will enhance downtown Trenton as a sought-after living destination as well as a premier state capitol and a business destination.”

The study was conducted by Zimmerman/Volk Associates, which has a national reputation for innovative market analysis based on its proprietary target market methodology. According to the study, demand for up to 600 of the 760 units in downtown Trenton includes apartment rentals, with the remaining housing mix including for-sale condominiums and rowhouses/townhomes.

“We remain dedicated to the development of downtown Trenton, particularly to serving the community’s increasingly important parking needs,” says Andrew Worek, chairman of the Trenton Parking Authority. “We will do everything we can to promote commerce, support economic renewal, and ensure that downtown Trenton development is successful.”

For the purposes of this study, the boundaries of the downtown area include the D&R Canal to the north; U.S. Route 1 to the east and south; and the Delaware River to the west. The study area encompasses two key commercial corridors as well as the new Creek to Canal Creative District. The study also takes into consideration the migration, mobility, demographic and lifestyle characteristics of households currently living within defined draw areas to determine the depth and breadth of the potential market for new housing within the downtown Trenton study area.

“Combining Trenton’s affordability and multi-modal transit orientation with its quality of life assets in Downtown Trenton including its riveting history and historic buildings, vibrant arts community, landmark museums, parks, upcoming neighborhoods and more, it’s no wonder why there’s a growing demand for housing here,” says George Sowa, founding CEO of Greater Trenton, and a former executive vice president of Brandywine Realty Trust. “However, to maximize Trenton’s residential market, it will be important to focus on developing higher-density housing types while also redeveloping existing buildings in downtown Trenton.”

According to the American Community Survey, which measures population mobility, the City of Trenton—where nearly 17.8 percent of the city’s population moved from one dwelling unit to another from 2014 to 2015—has a mobility rate higher than the national average of just under 12 percent. Approximately 64 percent of Trenton’s population that changed residences between 2014 and 2015 moved from elsewhere in Mercer County, and another 21.5 percent moved from another county in New Jersey, most notably from Middlesex, Burlington, Somerset, and Monmouth Counties, New Jersey or from Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

“The fact that nearly 50 percent of younger singles and couples are projected to move to downtown Trenton from areas outside of Mercer County, speaks volumes about the City’s appeal to a population of millennials, says Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. “In addition to the historic attractions in Trenton, numerous nearby Mercer County attractions including Grounds for Sculpture, Princeton University Art Museum, Washington Crossing Historic Park and many others, enhance the attractiveness of residential living in downtown Trenton.”

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