• Place type

    Downtowns (directly related)

  • Location

    Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts

  • Site

    Underutilized 2-acre site near downtown commuter station.

  • Program

    Phase 1: Rehabilitation of 21-unit, 3-story apt. building, 17 long- term affordable units. Phase 2: 18 new Energy Star Qualified condominiums and townhouses, 5 designated for income-qualified first-time homebuyers, and 3 for-sale retail units.

  • Developer

    Manchester Affordable Housing Corporation and the Manchester Housing Authority

The project is a transit-supportive development about 1/3 of a mile from the commuter station. Wide sidewalks, on-street parking, and sidewalk bump-outs help create a comfortable pedestrian environment. Most of the parking is in an underground structure.


The building’s carefully chosen design and materials integrate the new buildings into the existing architecture and traditional urban fabric. This project is a mixed-use project that provides a diversity of housing types as well as retail uses to support the existing downtown. The buildings relate to the streets in ways that reinforce their public space qualities. An outdoor plaza is planned.

Tool and Actions

This case study is part of a downtown revitalization planning process that began in the 1970s and 80s to combat the decline of Collingswood’s commercial and residential center. In addition to public investments in streetscape renovations and building rehabilitation, the borough took the key early step of obtaining state grants to study transit-oriented development opportunities in Collingswood and neighboring communities along the PATCO rail line.

Recommendations from this study fed into the borough’s master plan, which led to the designation of redevelopment areas under New Jersey state redevelopment statues. Collingswood created redevelopment area plans for these designated areas which override existing zoning and give the borough broad powers to redevelop the area. Municipal boards and citizen stakeholders were actively involved in the planning and design process.