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March 10, 2005

NEWARK — The Township of Hamilton is closer to seeing a vibrant transit village adjacent to its rail station on the Northeast Corridor, as NJ TRANSIT moves forward with the competitive bidding process to select a developer for the project.

On March 11, NJ TRANSIT will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to create a 30-acre transit-friendly community, incorporating residential, commercial and retail components on the site of a current parking lot.

The project is expected to generate increased ridership and revenue for NJ TRANSIT and produce tax ratables for the Township. In addition, Hamilton residents are expected to benefit from the development of a mixed-use community with cultural, shopping and public-space amenities.

“A transit village will create a place in which home is just footsteps away from a harmonious blend of superior rail service, interesting shops, outdoor cafes, entertainment options, a variety of restaurants, open space, recreational opportunities, cultural events, natural beauty, outdoor sculpture and other artwork,” said Hamilton Township Mayor Glen D. Gilmore.

“This project will maximize the use of the site, and bolster Hamilton's position as ‘New Jersey's Shining Star,’ ” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. “Since opening in 1999, Hamilton has become one of the busiest stations in the NJ TRANSIT system.”

NJ TRANSIT will ensure that all proposals conform to the Township’s redevelopment plan, land-use regulations and other regulatory requirements.

Last year, NJ TRANSIT announced plans to build a 2,000-space parking deck on a portion of the current surface parking lot, thereby enabling development on the remainder of the lot. Developers will be required to provide replacement parking for NJ TRANSIT customers during the construction process. Construction of the deck is expected to begin in the fall of 2005.

Representatives of NJ TRANSIT, Hamilton Township, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the state’s Office of Smart Growth, and the Department of Transportation’s transit-village program will evaluate proposals based on criteria outlined in the RFP, including experience of the development team, proposed concept plan, proposed economic benefits to NJ TRANSIT and Hamilton Township, project feasibility and financial strength of the developer.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 752,600 daily trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 161 rail stations, 52 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.