Shaping Trenton’s future starts with you. Read an introduction to Trenton250. 

South District

What Is A District Report?


The District Plans provide information on where some of the recommendations made in the reports should be applied in each planning district. These Plans are ideal for those who are particularly concerned about how the City will implement the Master Plan in their district or ward.

The District Plans include initiatives and actions from reports that the City has completed to date.  Therefore, there may be some issues, such as public safety, which the City has not yet addressed in sufficient detail. As funding becomes available, the City will undertake the additional reports and amend the Master Plan

Join The Mailing List

Sign up for updates about this & other developments in Trenton’s Master Plan


South Trenton can successfully maintain and rebuild strong neighborhoods by reinforcing its urban qualities: dense single-family housing, mixed-use neighborhoods, and highly-walkable streets. The growing and diversifying population has added to the area’s vibrancy and cultural richness. Some neighborhoods have become destinations to shop and dine, and major commercial corridors become beacons of activity. Still, other neighborhoods remain principally residential with small pockets of local-serving retail.


Maps and Additional Information


The following narrative provides detail on geographic specific initiatives and actions that must be carried out in the Downtown. A complete list of all Actions and Initiatives recommended for this District is provided at the bottom of this page. Where numbers are presented in the text - for example:  "Downtown Core (23)" - they refer to specific areas described on the Approach Map. The map below zooms in on the Approach Map and shows recommendations made for the Downtown District.

Chambersburg (40)

Investments in the Chambersburg area have the potential to have a significant catalytic impact on the surrounding area. The growing and diversifying population has added to the area’s vibrancy and cultural richness and offers potential to build a neighborhood that once again is a destination to safely shop, dine and live. As such, the City should implement the Prioritize Investment in Neighborhoods with Catalytic Potential: Chambersburg Initiative. As noted in the Develop Housing Toolkit & Implement Prioritized Investment Framework Initiative, the Priority Investment Neighborhoods should be the focus of intensive housing and non-housing related investments that seek to make them more attractive to private investment. These areas have been identified because of their unique assets, including location, existing buildings, existing amenities, and/or the existence of successful revitalization efforts. They have the market conditions to change relatively quickly and are likely to have a significant impact on the housing market if they become successful. This means that the City should be working aggressively in these areas to improve the public realm, enhance open space, address environmental issues, and ensure that they are safe.
Early in this area to re-establishing it as a food and cultural hub. To do so, the City must implement the Expand and Support Neighborhood Retail Initiative that includes actions such as a Pop-Up Storefront Program, Technical Assistance for Retailers, and Façade Improvement Program, among others.
In addition to the retail within the Chambersburg neighborhood, the City should focus specific attention on Broad Street: one of the City’s most active commercial corridors. A Broad Street Commercial Corridor Plan for the section between 129 and Liberty should focus on how to make this corridor the “main street” of East Trenton that showcases the area for its vibrant and diverse culture. Broad Street must function as the gateway to both the City and the East and South District, and a new gateway at Broad and Liberty Street should reinforce the area as a cultural-commercial corridor. A Road Diet along Liberty St to Cedar Ln creates an opportunity to connect the two sides of Broad Street while improving pedestrian, bicycle, and automotive circulation. Similarly, efforts to create a better gateway along Broad Street as it crosses Route 129 will help the corridor feel more connected to the Sun Center and the Downtown.
Successful execution of the housing strategies in Chambersburg will be critical. The goal should be to provide a variety of for-sale and rental options for households of all types and residents at all income levels. To do so, the City must balance a need to creating a strong housing market while still providing a fair share of affordable housing opportunities. Striking this balance will be very difficult yet incredibly. As identified in Laying the Foundations for Strong Neighborhoods, Chambersburg has a significant amount of rental units and is one of the most densely populated areas in the City. As the home to many immigrants, the availability of relatively cheap rental housing has been part of what gives the area its vibrancy. However, to encourage a stronger retail market and support the City’s revitalization goals, the area must also become attractive to new residents with more disposable income.

Lamberton North (10)

The Lamberton Street area has the potential to become an attractive and safe residential community. If the City is successful in achieving this, the area will further reinforce all of South Trenton as a strong residential community and help bolster property values. With high-quality access to highways, transit, as well as key City amenities - such as the Sun Center, Roebling Complex Redevelopment, and Arm & Hammer Stadium – the area has a number of amenities that could be attractive to prospective home buyers. To achieve this, the City must implement the Prioritize Investment in Neighborhoods with Catalytic Potential: Lamberton North Initiative.
Vacant Lot stabilization programs will be particularly important in this area since there is a high level of vacancy and abandonment. However, there may also be opportunities for the assemblage of properties for larger scale redevelopment. Such efforts must be done in close coordination with the community and local civic associations, as such an early step should be the establishment of a City & Neighborhood Partnership Committees. In addition, the Lamberton area is a designated historic district and may be an excellent opportunity for a coordinated historic preservation. Such an effort could make significant contributions to efforts to strengthen the housing market in this area. Past efforts in the Mill Hill Neighborhood demonstrate the success that coordinated historic preservation can have on a neighborhood. As a result, the Protect And Enhance Historic Housing And Neighborhood Fabric Initiative must be coordinated with the investment strategy for this area.
As noted in the Develop Housing Toolkit & Implement Prioritized Investment Framework Initiative, the Priority Investment Neighborhoods should be the focus of intensive housing and non-housing related investments that seek to make them more attractive to private investment. As such, the following efforts in adjacent areas are likely to have significantly positive impacts on the Lamberton North area:

Reinforce (50) Chestnut Park 3 and Franklin Park

The South Planning District has two neighborhoods identified in the Laying the Foundations for Strong Neighborhoods Report as “strong” or “moderately strong.” These include Chestnut Park 3 and Franklin Park. In these areas, the City should execute the Reinforce Neighborhoods with the Highest Values and Concentration of Home-Ownership Initiative which seeks to protect these neighborhoods from decline and to promote growth in the housing market. In this area, the City must be able to respond rapidly to situations that pose a threat to neighborhood stability and work to make incremental improvements that will drive increased property values.

Strengthen Chestnut Park 1 and 2 (47), and South Trenton 3 (12)

The City should implement the Strengthen Neighborhoods at the Risk of Decline initiative in Chestnut Park 1 and 2 and Lamberton3. Although Chestnut Park 1 and 2 are both classified as “weak” or “very weak” on the Laying Foundations’ Composite Score, they do not possess the same level of vacancy and abandonment as other such neighborhoods. Instead, they have very low levels of homeownership, high levels of investor ownership, and particularly high mortgage foreclosure rates. As a result, it is likely that focus on sustaining and improving the quality and affordability of rental housing are likely to have the greatest impact on these areas. The First-Step Renter & Homeowner Assistance Initiative, with its heavy focus on creating a Landlord Registration Ordinance, is likely to have substantial impacts on these neighborhoods.
Similarly, South Trenton 3 is classified as a moderately strong neighborhood, despite the fact that the area has low homeownership rates and only moderate property values. What bolsters the areas score is its relatively low tax delinquency rate, low foreclosure rate, moderate home sale prices, and a low violent crime rate. This may be due in part to the fact that the area has strong barriers on all sides, which establishes boundaries for a self-contained neighborhood unit. In implementing the neighborhood housing strategies in this area, it is likely that focus on sustaining and improving the quality and affordability of rental housing is likely to have a greater impact on the neighborhood than improvement strategies that target owner-occupiers.

RiverLINE Stations Transit Oriented Development

Trenton should take advantage of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) opportunities at the Hamilton Street and Cass Street Station along the RiverLINE (see RiverLINE Stations Transit Oriented Development Initiative). These stops provide continuous service to South Jersey towns between Trenton and Camden. Furthermore, they provide easy access to the Trenton Transit Station, which provides service to the entire northeast. As a result, residents who live near these stations have a one-transfer access to New York, Philadelphia, Camden, and the rest of the northeast.
Three key projects within this effort will be Continuing to Redevelop the Roebling Complex (46) and eventually Moving and Redeveloping the Prison (18). To achieve these ends, the City must implement the Revitalize Large Catalytic Development Sites Initiative. Portions of the Roebling Complex have undergone redevelopment in the past, including the portion that contains Roebling Market. Currently, plans are underway to redevelop Block 3 of the Roebling Complex, also called the Wire Rope District. Further redevelopment of the Roebling Complex will produce a premier mixed-use residential, retail, and entertainment district with significant walking and biking connectivity to transit and downtown. At the same time, the Sun National Bank Center has not attracted associated spin-off development. Ensuring that these areas are successful will be key to revitalizing areas of Downtown, Lamberton, and Chambersburg.
Leveraging Sun Center (47) will also strongly support Transit-Oriented Development along the RiverLINE. To achieve this, the City should implement the Encourage Multi-purpose Use of the Sun National Bank Center and Arm & Hammer Park for Events and Activities Initiative. The Sun National Bank Center are underused event venues that could contribute significantly toward the goal of a more vibrant entertainment business district if used more frequently. With many colleges in the region, the venues could continue hosting various championship games for several sports, as well as host pre-season games for professional sports teams in New York and Philadelphia. While not in use for these events, the Center could be more available to the surrounding community. These are regional amenities which will most help activate the downtown.

Reinforce South Clinton as Multi-Modal Retail Corridor (50)

Redevelopment of the Roebling Complex and addition of more Transit Oriented Development at the Trenton Transit Center is likely to place positive market pressure on the multi-modal corridor along South Clinton. The City should consider efforts to targeting the following initiatives to this corridor: Expand and Support Neighborhood Retail Initiative, Comprehensive Capital City Regional Trail Network Initiative, and Implement Complete Streets Policy Initiative. These efforts will work to pair circulation improvements with economic development incentives, which will reinforce this area as a highly connected retail corridor.

Route 129

Connectivity Improvements (15) along Route 129 are also likely to have strong positive effects on the District. Route 129 is automotive dominant street that bisects South Trenton. Implementing the Make Trenton Roads Safer for All Initiative along it will likely result in improve connections between those neighborhoods south of the highway and those to the north, improved opportunities for Transit-Oriented Development, and will encourage more Ratable Office and Light-Industry (16) as well as help Reinforce a Commercial Center (14) at the intersection of Route 129 and Lalor St. Support for these efforts can be achieved by implementing the Expand and Support Neighborhood Retail Initiative.

Multi-Modal Connectivity

Achieving the community-driven vision in South Trenton relies on reinforcing three neighborhoods corridors: Cass Street, Center Street, and Lamberton Street. Making Cass Street as a Complete Street will connect the area to a number of major amenities including the Arm & Hammer Waterfront Park and associated development; the Cass Street RiverLine Station; and the Chambersburg area. This will help make the area south of Route 129 feel more connected to the City.
At the same time, Centre Street currently functions as a strong “spine” for the area. By reinforcing Centre Street as a high-quality multi-modal street, the City will be better connecting its efforts to Strengthen South Trenton 3 neighborhood (12) and Prioritize Investment in Lamberton North. Centre Street also provides the only connection to Downtown across Route 1 and the rail lines. As a result of this connection, many homes are only a 10 to 20-minute walk from the downtown and the successful Mill Hill Neighborhood, even if they “feel” substantial further away. Reinforcing Center Street as a multi-modal corridor will help overcome this perpetual barrier, which in-turn should encourage residential development in the area. A connection into the Mill Hill Neighborhood may also support historic preservation efforts and help create a historic connection across Route 1.
To accomplish this, the City must implement the following multi-modal initiatives in South Trenton:

Encourage Ratables (11) along the Waterfront

Encouraging Ratables along the waterfront can be achieved primarily through the implementation of three initiatives. First, the City should implement the Encourage Multi-purpose Use of the Sun National Bank Center and Arm & Hammer Park for Events and Activities Initiative. This will increase the number of patrons who visit Arm & Hammer Park and make it a more attractive location for new retail uses. At the same time, the City should implement its Land Development Ordinance Update so that ratable properties have an incentive to locate there. Finally, since much of this area is currently home to state office buildings, the implementation of the Encourage Further Consolidating and Concentration of State Offices Downtown Initiative may result in new land being made available for development. If this becomes the case, the City may need to utilize its Redevelopment Powers & Incentives to encourage new private sector development.

Rezoning and Updating of Redevelopment Plans

In addition to pursuing the above efforts, the City must undertake a process of updating its land development ordinance and its redevelopment plans. (See Land Development Ordinance Update, Redevelopment Plans: Review and Update, and Redevelopment Plan Reform). This document breaks down the Land Use and Community Form Plan by geography, providing information on proposed zoning, current land use, and current zoning. For more information on how zoning should be updated, see the Land Use and Community Form Plan. Below you can explore the specific Land Use & Community Form recommendations for this district.

Initiatives and Actions for this District Report

Show these types of Cards