Metro-North Wants To Develop Around Harrison

The MTA Metro-North Railroad is looking to spice things up in Harrison. Their goal is to create a transit oriented development project around the Harrison train station. Here are more details courtesy of a press release sent out earlier:

MTA Metro-North Railroad is issuing its first solicitation for a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) at the Harrison Station to improve access to trains by replacing three surface parking lots
with a mixed-use development that includes retail space and housing units wrapped around a new parking structure.

The project also is intended to serve as a catalyst for downtown revitalization in Harrison. It enjoys broad support from the community, the local government and the New York State Department of State, which awarded a Smart Growth Grant to aid this TOD Project.

“We have branded this project ‘It’s Happening in Harrison,’ because we believe this project – when realized – will create a sustainable, lively, walkable and vital development that will expand and complement the existing village hub at the same time it increases access to trains and reduces reliance on single occupancy vehicles,” said Metro-North President Howard Permut. “Leveraging our assets and creating a public-private partnership will be a win for the Village, the Railroad and the selected developer. During this time of fiscal constraints, we are making every dollar count by finding creative ways to finance our capital investments.”

“For many years, Town officials have sought to improve the downtown business area, to bring in a wider variety of stores, to make it a destination for residents,” said Harrison Mayor Joan Walsh. “This project comes at just the right time, when there is a trend toward living in a downtown area with the added attraction of the railroad being so close, and with the economy showing signs of improving. With the mix of apartments, retail and ample parking, Harrison’s downtown area is going to be the vibrant, attractive area officials have long sought. We have been very pleased to work with the MTA on this project. It has been years in the planning, and it is indeed a win-win for everyone.”

The site consists of slightly more than three acres of property owned by MTA Metro-North Railroad currently used as commuter parking. The railroad, working with the Real Estate Department of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, intends to use the property to facilitate expanded access to the station. The amount of commuter parking will be doubled, from 255 to about 500 spaces to address needs on this segment of the New Haven Line. A significant amount of additional shopper parking and shared parking will be accommodated on the site.

The Request for Proposals, which will be released July 8 on the MTA website, is the culmination of a collaborative effort between Metro-North and the Town of Harrison over several years. In 2009, Metro-North and the Town memorialized its understanding regarding this transaction in an MTA Board-approved, pre-development Memorandum of Understanding. Last month the Town board unanimously passed a resolution in support of the TOD solicitation.

Advertisements announcing release of the development RFP for a TOD at Harrison Station will be appearing in both national and local publications starting today.

This sounds like an interesting concept that would help boost the local economy & make the station more appealing for use. It will be interesting to see how far the agency can take this project in these tough economic times.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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