Governor Kathy Hochul, leaders from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and officials from AvalonBay Communities today announced the completion of Avalon Harrison, a transit-oriented development at the Harrison Metro-North station built with support from the MTA. Transit-oriented development is intended to promote downtown revitalization and improve the environment and healthy lifestyles by providing residents access to shops, amenities, and rail stations within walking distance. The MTA is continuing to advance transit-oriented developments, with another active project underway in Westbury.
“My administration is continuing to do everything in our power to build new housing in every corner of this state,” Governor Hochul said. “With more than 140 units of affordable housing, the Avalon Harrison project does not only fit seamlessly into the community — it promises to make Harrison more dynamic and walkable and serve as a model for transit-oriented development everywhere."
Avalon Harrison, built at the Metro-North Railroad Harrison Station, includes:
- 143 apartments in three residential buildings, including seven affordable apartments subsidized by Westchester County
- Approximately 5,000 square feet of interior amenities for the residential community
- Approximately 27,000 square feet of vibrant, street-level retail/commercial space
- Two landscaped public plazas with connections to the Metro-North Harrison Station platform
- 758 total project parking spaces
- 475 Metro-North Customer Parking spaces (an increase of 218 or 85 percent)
- 96 Retail Parking Spaces
- 187 Residential Parking Spaces
MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, “This project is a perfect example of what is meant when the phrase TOD, Transit Oriented Development, is used. We’ve got housing, beautiful new housing, close to transit so people don't have to own as many cars and they don't have to use them as frequently. As the governor said, these are the units that are custom designed for seniors who want to get out of that big house that's now too big for them, but want to stay close to their friends in the community they've cultivated their whole lives."
MTA President of Construction and Development Jamie Torres-Springer said, “Transit Oriented Development strengthens the MTA and the communities we serve. This development will enliven Harrison, help address the regional housing crunch, and connect more people directly to the most sustainable and reliable way to get around.”
Metro-North President and Long Island Rail Road Interim President Catherine Rinaldi said, “The completion of this beautiful complex completely transforms the area around Harrison Station and will attract new customers to the cleaner and greener public transportation that Metro-North provides. Instead of just being a place to come and go quickly, Harrison station is now a destination and an example of how we can transform cities and increase the use of public transportation with Transit Oriented Development."
State Senator Shelley Mayer said, “I am excited to join Governor Hochul and the MTA to celebrate the opening of the first transit-oriented development complex here in my district. With over 140 new apartments built in the heart of downtown Harrison, more New Yorkers will have the opportunity to enjoy the vibrant Harrison community while having first class access to Metro North service. I commend Governor Hochul’s commitment to supporting transit-oriented development in communities like Harrison, which I am proud to represent.”
Assemblymember Chris Burdick said, “It is exciting to see how this new transit-oriented development in Harrison has dramatically changed the landscape of the city center. This will no doubt provide a more vibrant downtown experience, which will benefit the businesses and the feeling of community.”
The first phase of the two-phase project opened August 23, 2021, and included the construction of a 598-space commuter parking garage located steps away from the Harrison station’s Connecticut-bound platform. The garage is owned and operated by Metro-North.
The Harrison project is expected to be a transformative project for the station and the central business district of Harrison and is a three-way win for the partnership. On the public sector side, MTA now has improved station access (increased parking, improved pedestrian flow with direct access to the outbound platform from the garage); an enhanced station environment with retail shops along the frontage of Halstead Avenue and in the plazas/courtyard; and increased residential density within walking distance to the station for potential ridership increases; all while avoiding any capital cost.
The Town/Village of Harrison benefits with a potential economic catalyst for the central business district and tax revenues from property that was previously public owned. Avalon Bay Communities now has a showcase transit-oriented development along Metro-North’s highest ridership line.
Harrison currently has 98 trains per weekday and 75 on Saturdays and Sundays, generally offering service every 30 minutes toward Manhattan and Stamford during off-peak hours and every 20 minutes during peak hours.
Avalon Harrison complements Governor Hochul’s comprehensive agenda to strengthen New York’s housing supply and make the state more affordable and more livable. The Governor recently announced a package of executive actions to promote housing growth across New York State. As part the FY 2023 Budget, the Governor also secured funding for a five-year, $25 billion Housing Plan to create and preserve 100,000 affordable homes in urban and rural areas across New York.
About the MTA’s Transit-Oriented Development Program
Through its transit-oriented development team, the MTA collaborates with property owners and municipalities across the region to promote development around transit stations that increase accessibility and provide housing, retail shops, office and public improvements. The success of Harrison is being followed by other TOD development projects at Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road stations which are being constructed in conformance with recently enacted municipal re-zonings.
The MTA is currently working with the Village of Westbury in Nassau County to bring a mixed-use residential development on the LIRR-owned commuter parking lot south of the Westbury Station following multi-billion-dollar MTA investments in LIRR. The MTA continues to work with communities that have committed to improve and activate their station areas by rezoning to allow greater density and mixed uses.