Buying real estate? Follow the infrastructure
If you’re interested in making money buying real estate, it pays to follow the public infrastructure projects that appear ahead of residential and commercial projects.
A look at the March 28 council meeting’s agenda revealed some of the large public projects that are coming to Hammonton soon, courtesy of the town and the state.
They include the following, according to the engineer report from the agenda:
• A state resurfacing project on Route 54 that is expected to be completed by 2023. According to public statements, this project will impact Route 54 from Route 40 to Route 30.
• A town water main replacement and restoration project extending along 12th Street (Route 54) from First Road to Second Road and on the northerly section of Chew Road between 12th Street and First Road.
• A state resurfacing project on the White Horse Pike (Route 30) that is expected to be completed in the late spring of this year. The entire project will extend along the White Horse Pike from Atco Avenue in Waterford to Route 206 in Hammonton.
• Two additional town water capital projects: S. First Road from 10th Street to dead end (in the vicinity of Birch Drive); and White Horse Pike (Route 30) and Seagrove Avenue, a portion of main at the White Horse Pike and extension along Seagrove Avenue. According to the agenda, “the design along each roadway has been completed. ARH is coordinating with the Director of Public Works [Robert Vettese] to finalize the scope of the options under consideration.
• The council has also authorized the town engineer to send a letter, which was sent according to the council agenda, to the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) “requesting both agencies review the potential to consider the reconstruction of the dam structure sometime in the future to comply with similar improvements that have been completed in other dams in South Jersey.” Other letters were sent to various other groups to seek letters of support for the project, the agenda said.
Those projects alone represent millions of dollars in public infrastructure work that will be done in the next several years in Hammonton if all goes according to plan.
I believe most, if not all, of these projects will come to fruition.
What’s important to understand is these projects don’t just happen. On the state, county and municipal level, people participate in deciding what is built where with public funds. Obviously, the people in government know where things like utilities, roadways and dams are going to be receiving public dollars for infrastructure improvements.
The rest of us may be behind the game a bit, but it’s easy to catch up if you know where to look.
So, let’s look at these projects. The ones by the state and the town on Route 54 (12th Street) form the base of what I’ll call the “Infrastructure T,” and these projects will impact the Hammonton Business Park and downtown area (the First Road project from 10th Street to the dead end is related, but not connected).
Forming the top of the “Infrastructure T” are the state project for Route 30 (White Horse Pike), the town’s White Horse Pike and Seagrove Avenue water capital project and the potential dam project on the White Horse Pike side of Hammonton Lake. These projects will all impact the uptown portion of Hammonton.
If you’re looking from above, you’ll see that the “Infrastructure T” lays neatly right over three of the major commercial areas of the town: uptown along Route 30 (the White Horse Pike), downtown and the business park along Route 54 (12th Street, and in the case of the state repaving project, Bellevue Avenue.)
There are also many residential areas—as well as vacant areas that could be developed into new residential developments—that will be impacted by this potential reinvestment in public infrastructure.
Hammonton in the 2020s reminds me of Wildwood in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when a lot of public infrastructure work was being done, like the new bridge into North Wildwoods, Rio Grande Avenue’s reconstruction and the new Wildwood Convention Center.
Anyone who remembers Wildwood before that time and since that time knows that it has been and continues to be an excellent example of private real estate gains following public infrastructure improvements.
Will Hammonton be next? I think so.
Gabriel J. Donio is the publisher of The Hammonton Gazette.