TOD News

Your Source For Transit Oriented Development News


April 2015

Raleigh in process of updating development maps

Mechelle Hankerson | North Raleigh News

courtesy of Shalom Baranes ArchitectsCity leaders are working their way through a process that could lead to the creation of more dense growth in urban cores and the protection of suburban and residential areas.

Raleigh is updating its zoning designations, which lay out what types of development can go in certain parts of the city. The changes would bring the designations in line with the new unified development ordinance, or UDO, which sets rules for new growth.

While much of the process is bureaucratic and esoteric, the rules affect things that sometimes draw complaints from neighbors, like the height of new buildings.

For two years, the city has been working under two different development codes. The updated designations, reflected in a city zoning map, will put everything under one ordinance, eliminating any confusion about proposed development projects.

“Everyone will be operating under the new code, and we can put the old code on the shelf,” said Travis Crane, a city planner who oversaw the remapping process.

City staff and the Raleigh Planning Commission worked to apply new zoning designations to about 70 percent of the city, Crane said. The city council will have to give final approval to the changes. Read more


Cuomo’s dirty dozen:New brownfield sites unveiled

Carl Weisbrod | Real Estate Weekly

Harlem River waterfront to the north of the Madison Avenue BridgeGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the designation of 12 brownfield opportunity areas in economically-challenged communities across New York State.

The Brownfield Opportunity Areas Program helps local communities establish revitalization strategies that return dormant and blighted areas into productive areas to spur economic development.

The designation is based upon plans of varying focus that reflect local conditions, and projects receiving this designation are given priority status for grants and additional Brownfield Cleanup Program tax credit incentives.

“By designating these sites as brownfield opportunity areas, we are helping to reimagine their potential as vibrant parts of the surrounding communities,” Governor Cuomo said.

“This distinction allows us to put their rehabilitation on the fast-track with additional state resources, and that means new development, jobs and opportunities in the future. This is another way that our administration is joining with local partners to revitalize blighted areas across the state, and I look forward to seeing their transformation continue in the days to come.” Read more


Union Station: The East Coast’s Biggest Transit Oriented Development

Aisha Carter | Bisnow

courtesy of Shalom Baranes Architects
courtesy of Shalom Baranes Architects


The redevelopment of Union Station has the potential to be one of the biggest East Coast TODs in the next 20 years. To give you an idea of how involved this process is going to be, the first air rights building isn’t expected to be completed until 2023. Planners have to find a way to redevelop the station without interfering with its 113,000 daily weekday riders, especially as that number doubles by 2033, the New York Times reports. The historic original building will also be preserved. Read more


Union Station in Washington Has a Grand Development Plan

Eugene L. Meyer | The New York Times

A rendering of the proposed plans for Burnham Place at Union Station in Washington. Credit Akridge and Shalom Baranes Associates
A rendering of the proposed plans for Burnham Place at Union Station in Washington. Credit Akridge and Shalom Baranes Associates

This city’s venerable Union Station, which opened with much fanfare in 1908, was never about the federal union but about the union of two railroads whose separate terminals had formerly occupied valuable space blocks apart, even encroaching on the National Mall.

But, over time, the monumental Beaux-Arts building and its rail yards that united railroads divided the city it served, its 20 north-south tracks bisecting neighborhoods rather than linking them. Now, under an ambitious plan, the air rights over the tracks are to be developed with three million square feet encompassing 1,300 residential units, 100,000 square feet of retail space, more than 500 hotel rooms, and parks and plazas.

The 14-acre project is to be called Burnham Place, after the Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, who designed the station. The new platform atop the tracks will extend a renovated and reconfigured station that will adjoin the mixed-use project. Read more


Station Center poised to revitalize west edge of downtown Salt Lake City

Derek Kitchen | The Salt Lake Tribune

A rendering of the proposed plans for Burnham Place at Union Station in Washington. Credit Akridge and Shalom Baranes AssociatesSalt Lake is a city on the rise. Over the next decade or so, we’re going to see a huge increase in demand for downtown living.

It’s happening already: Last week, the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City (RDA) announced big, bold plans for the property between the Rio Grande depot and the intermodal hub. This new area, “Station Center,” is almost nine acres of vacant or under-utilized land that sits next to a high concentration of homeless-service providers. It is close to the freeway, the Utah Transit Authority hub and the Gateway shopping district. This is prime downtown real estate for transit-oriented development.

The RDA is taking a very deliberate and collaborative approach to revamping Station Center, working closely with potential developers to promote housing diversity for all income levels and allowing the market to direct the shape of each individual parcel. The city will also be making utility and infrastructure upgrades that will make the environment attractive and profitable for private investment. Read more


Transit-oriented development helps cities ease off the gas

Diane Boudreau | PhysOrg

Devine Legacy on Central Ave. is a mixed-income apartment community along the light rail corridor supported through the Sustainable Communities Collaborative. The building, owned by Native American Connections, is also LEED Platinum certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. Credit: Diane BoudreauLike a teenager lobbying for the car keys, Phoenix came of age in the era of the automobile. The area’s explosive growth in the mid-20th century reflected America’s similarly growing love affair with cars.

As a result, the Valley of the Sun is designed for driving, with wide, well-maintained streets, ubiquitous turn lanes and abundant parking. Unfortunately, car-friendly amenities like sprawling parking lots can make other ways of getting around more difficult. And increasing evidence shows that a gasoline-fueled car culture isn’t sustainable for our environment or our health.

Many cities, including several in the Valley, have committed to more sustainable transit. Researchers at Arizona State University are playing a role, providing evidence-based information on how to design our cities to promote transit options that are good for the environment, the economy and our bodies.

Why not drive?

It’s easy to understand why driving is so popular. Cars are fast, comfortable, private and convenient. Unfortunately, there are a lot of drawbacks to driving, ranging from air pollution and greenhouse gas production to the danger of collisions. And those are just the effects from the act of driving. Read more


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