The Trenton Transit Center directly links Downtown Trenton to the entire Northeast Corridor, thus making it a key economic development opportunity for the city – both commercial and residential. Despite its current disconnectedness from downtown, with several parcels prime for redevelopment, the potential for implementing new transit-oriented development (TOD) in the vicinity of the station is significant, along with creating new pedestrian connections.
The City should consider several sites around the Transit Center for transit-oriented development, primarily mixed-use buildings with ground-floor retail and residential/commercial above. These locations include assembled parcels at the corner of N. Clinton Ave. and E. State St. and along E. State St., the existing parking lots at the corner of Barlow St./S. Clinton Ave./Wallenberg Ave. and the parking lot opposite Trent Center Apartments at the corner of Greenwood Ave./Hudson St. For the City, this initiative involves focusing efforts on encouraging and facilitating mixed-use development in these specific areas initially to take advantage of the Transit Center's location and access.
The Transit Center also suffers from low visibility from the rest of downtown. Redevelopment of the District should include landmarks, and other wayfinding elements to further increase the visibility of the station. The Transit Center could also be more visible by improving the roadways leading to it. By extending Market Street to State Street, and giving the Trenton Transit Center a Market Street address, the prominence of this corridor and the station will be improved (See Trenton Transit Center Connection Initiative
At this time, the City is working on a strategic plan for the Transit Center area. Implementing the recommendations of this plan will be an important step in moving TOD forward in this area. Although that report is not yet complete, it is clear that creation of a TOD around the Transit Center would likely require acquisition or purchase of the properties to create developable sites. The City will need to market these sites to potential developers. This could involve direct outreach and marketing to the City’s preferred developers and/or including those properties on a searchable database of development opportunities on the City’s website.
In addition, the Education and Workforce Development Report noted that there might be an opportunity to establish a shared makerspace near the Transit Center. This space would include collaborative and knowledge sharing workspace for startups, entrepreneurs, corporations, and community makers, as well as classroom and lecture space for satellite programs offered by regional colleges and universities.
In all scenarios, the City or the master developer will have to conduct a full build-out analysis of the train station to identify the infrastructure improvement that will be necessary to support the development. This buildout analysis will aid the City in assessing infrastructure needs as part of the Northeast Corridor Bridge Crossings Improvements (also known as the Three Bridges Project).