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In North Brunswick, train is finally pulling into station

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This one might be the mother of all delays. Executives at North Brunswick TOD Associates arrived in 2005 in hopes of bringing a transit village project to the township, only to endure a seven-year delay waiting for their train to come in. In this case, their train was, of course, an NJ Transit station on the Northeast Corridor line.

As we reported on Page One this week, the developer is finally able to move ahead on the redevelopment of the former Johnson & Johnson manufacturing complex, now that the transit agency will build a train station on the site as part of a plan to improve service on its fastest-growing line.

We're really excited to see this project go forward for a number of reason, chief among them is the gratification, however delayed, of a public-private partnership that's destined to be successful. NJ Transit needs North Brunswick to plug a significant gap on the Northeast Corridor, and isn't on the hook for building parking facilities or the waiting areas indoors; in fact, the "flyover track" that will be added is projected to save the agency $10 million a year. And the impact on North Brunswick will be measurable — the project will bring nearly 2,000 residential units, a mix of commercial development and some big-box tenants, to boot.

The good news that this project is moving ahead comes at the same time as progress is being made at Wesmont Station, in Wood-Ridge, in which a former Curtiss-Wright aircraft plant is being converted into a mixed-use project on 70 acres, and will include a new NJ Transit train station.

It's heartening to see progress being made to bring new life to sites in need of reuse, and to see investments from both builders and the state transit agency create economic growth. Hopefully, other developers are looking at what's going on here as a blueprint for the future — but with any luck, they won't have to wait so long for their train to get in.

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