Across the United States, the term “smart growth” refers to smarter ways to grow in terms of building and land use. Its goal is to address a host of problems, including traffic congestion, soaring property taxes, horrific housing costs, suburban sprawl, urban disinvestment, and a decline in our quality of life.
New Jersey Future is a statewide research and policy group that advocates a smarter way to grow: one that protects open lands and natural resources, revitalizes neighborhoods and keeps all types of housing affordable, and provides more transportation choices.
Sharbell Development Corporation, along with Feinberg and Associates and the town of Robbinsville, NJ, won the 2010 New Jersey Future Smart Growth award for its Robbinsville Town Center.
The project team’s core goal for this project involved creating a walkable and friendly (yet diverse) community. Housing styles within the center range from small-lot, single-family homes to duplexes, townhomes, and loft units. The result has attracted a wide range of residents – an appealing alternative to the typical cookie-cutter community, where each home looks alike and each resident fits the same profile.
Robbinsville Town Center cohesively blends retail and office space while integrating various types of residential dwellings, according to Tom Troy, principal of Sharbell Development Corporation.
The property’s retail and office components also work to create a vibrant mix of uses. Two-thirds of the existing office space has been leased, and many restaurants and retailers are open. The tenants include an upscale gourmet Italian deli/market, a day spa/salon, a sushi restaurant, a men’s shop, women’s boutiques, etc.
It was designed to be a community where residents can easily access office buildings, stores, and restaurants on foot. It also includes wide-ranging public parks and lakes for resident enjoyment.