However, one argument for the project that I don't like is that it will raise property values, as suggested in this column in The Architect's Newspaper and elsewhere. From the AN:
He will also forfeit the $18 billion increase in property values to many New Jersey communities (only one of the many benefits that an independent study by the Regional Plan Association forecasts).
Are these property value increases benefits? Only if you look at one side of the ledger. Higher property values are offset by higher costs. Higher property values lead to higher rents (of course higher rents are caused by greater accessibility), so there may be some crowding out of certain households who do not value access to Penn Station. Higher property values leads to higher property taxes, which most people incorrectly state are a benefit when in fact the property taxes are a transfer. So there will be some private gains that accrue to property owners and some higher rents that reflect better access. These are private gains and losses, and may be subject to critiques of gentrification and displacement.
But the idea that an increase in property values is an unambiguous benefit is incorrect. What New Jersey should do is pursue value capture strategies (see David Levinson's work for details) that take advantage of the increases in property values and taxes to help pay for the cost of the train and tunnel. By capturing the increased value those who receive the benefit are more likely to be the ones paying rather than everyone paying for benefits that accrue to a few.