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TRA managing MBTA selling of former ferry terminal in Quincy

Thomas Grillo | Boston Business Journal

The MBTA is selling the former ferry terminal building and the 7.8-acre parcel at the Fore River Shipyard on Washington Street at the Fore River Bridge in Quincy.

0313 Quincy Terminal
The T is seeking bidders for the former ferry terminal building and the 7.8-acre parcel at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy.

The T is seeking bidders for the land and building at 703 Washington St. There is no minimum bid for the property. Bids are due on Wednesday, April 16, and a pre-bid conference has been scheduled at Transit Realty Associates, the Boston firm that disposes of MBTA real estate, on Thursday, April 3 at 1 p.m.

Bidding documents did not reveal the zoning for the parcel. A spokesman for Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch said the parcel is zoned industrial but with a special permit almost anything could be built on the site.

T ferry service was shuttered last October when transit officials learned the terminal was unsafe and the cost to repair it — between $15 and $50 million — was prohibitive. T patrons now take the ferry from Hingham and there are no plans to bring back the service to Quincy, according to MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo. {….}


Massachusetts Senate approves transportation bond bill

The Associated Press 

BOSTON -€” The Massachusetts Senate has approved a bill authorizing $13 billion in capital spending over the next five years to pay for upgrades to the state’s transportation system.

The bill includes $1.5 billion in spending over the next five years to fund local road and bridge projects.

The bill also hikes the penalties for MBTA fare evasion by raising fines to $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense and $600 for a third or subsequent offense.

The bill lets the state transportation department spend an additional $50 million in fiscal years 2014 and 2015 on snow and ice removal and dedicates $2.3 billion for South Coast rail improvements.

The legislation also includes $325 million for improvements to South Station and renames it the Gov. Michael S. Dukakis Transportation Center at South Station.

An MBTA train pulls into a stop on Commonweath Avenue near Boston University in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) (Associated Press)


New Zoning Looks to Revamp Boston’s Largest Industry Hub

Nate Boroyan | City News

The Boston Redevelopment Authority and the MBTA have been working together to create a hotbed industrial and manufacturing zone within the City, at the crossroads of four distinct neighborhoods.

The Newmarket Industrial-Commercial Neighborhood District, a chunk of land including Dorchester, South Boston, the South End, and Roxbury, thanks to a BRA rezoning project, is now a distinct development parcel. With more than 700 companies specializing in “food processing, distribution and other light manufacturing industries,” Newmarket is an employment hub.

“Boston’s industrial and manufacturing sectors account for more than 54,000 jobs, and new zoning for Newmarket will keep good jobs in the City of Boston,” Mayor Walsh said. “This neighborhood is at the center of our city’s cutting-edge industrial economy and with this new zoning, we’re confident its evolution will continue.”

Zoning Article 90 makes Newmarket its own unique district, with clearly defined boundaries. Previous zoning boundaries for the district were established based about 50 years ago, to reflect the economy of the 1960s. {….}

Image via the Boston Redevelopment Authority


Construction begins for 40-unit affordable housing building in Cambridge, MA

Cambridge Wicked Local

Nauset Construction announced Feb. 3 that construction is underway for Temple Place, a six-story apartment complex that will provide 40 units of affordable housing to Cambridge residents.

The $11 million project will be built on the site of the former YWCA swimming pool building and will consist of a mix of one- and two-bedroom units, with several units specially designed for universal access or for residents with visual or hearing impairments.

This development will help the Cambridge Affordable Housing Corporation, a non-profit affiliate of the Cambridge Housing Authority and project owner, address the demand for affordable housing in the city. Situated in the busy Central Square neighborhood, and adjacent to the existing YWCA, the tight urban location requires heightened planning and safety measures, according to Nauset president Anthony Papantonis. {….}

MBTA head receives humanitarian leadership award from Transportation Research Board

Matt Rocheleau |

The transportation division of the National Research Council has named MBTA General Manager Beverly A. Scott the recipient of a biennial award recognizing humanitarian leadership.

The Sharon D. Banks Award for Humanitarian Leadership in Transportation has been given by the Transportation Research Board every two years since 2002 to an individual who exemplifies the ideals of the honor’s namesake, officials said.

Banks, who chaired the research board’s executive committee in 1998 and worked as general manager of Oakland, Calif.-based public transit agency AC Transit from 1991 until she died in 1999 of complications from a series of strokes, was “known for her personal integrity, for nurturing and mentoring young transportation professionals, and for bringing together people of diverse backgrounds and commitments in the pursuit of organizational excellence,” according to the board.

She was the first African American and first woman to lead AC Transit, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Scott, the MBTA’s first African-American woman leader, was picked for the award “for her attention to diversity, fairness, and equity and for her tireless efforts to improve the lives of others as well as to the attention she pays to the personal aspects of the decisions she makes and the impact of those decisions on the lives of those who depend on public transit for their livelihood is core to her recognition as a people-oriented transit manager,” said a statement from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. {….}

New Jersey’s transit hubs first stop for development

Gary Steinfield |

New Jersey’s commuter rail stations and the underused properties near them are emerging from the recession as potential sources of untapped economic development and new tax revenue.

Robert Sciarrino/The Star-Ledger

Prior to the economic downturn, many of these properties were considered for redevelopment as “transit-oriented developments” or “TODs” because of their proximity to commuter rail stations. By definition, TODs are typically located within a half mile of a transit station, are designed to encourage use of public transportation, and are compact, walkable communities that create a desirable sense of place.

Unfortunately, many TOD redevelopment plans fell victim to the recent economic downturn and a collapse in real estate prices as demand softened and financing dried up. As the head of a development company, I saw this change firsthand. {….}

Transit-Oriented Development for San Diego

Katie Marks | Google+

Transit-oriented housing may be the wave of the 21st century, especially if environmental activists and smart urban planners have their way. It makes sense, concentrating people into areas that make it easy to get around without needing a car, which reduces congestion and pollution while stimulating people to form community connections. Plus, without cars, people tend to walk and bike more, and getting active has a number of health benefits.

Photo: KurtClark/Flickr
Photo: Kurt Clark/Flickr

In Southern California, San Diego officials have just approved plans for a mixed-use development along the Sprinter light rail system. The development includes housing, shops, and more, all conveniently located close to the train station so residents will be able to quickly and easily catch a train towards work, entertainment, and other activities. It’s good news for San Diego remodelers, too: the contracts on developments this big can get large, and provide lots of opportunities for construction firms.

Using the MBTA saves commuters $13,000 a year


Winter is upon us, and that means slushy, icy and dangerous roadways. You can alleviate the stress of dealing with road conditions while saving money by letting public transit get you where you need to go. Consider the facts from the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) December Transit Savings Report, individuals who ride public transportation instead of driving can save, on average, more than $825 this month, and $9,901 annually. That’s not just in the winter, the savings extend all year round.

These savings are based on the cost of commuting by public transportation compared to the cost of owning and driving a vehicle which includes the December 17, 2013 average national gas price ($3.22 per gallon- reported by AAA), and the national unreserved monthly parking rate.

APTA releases this monthly Transit Savings Report to examine how an individual in a two-person household can save money by taking public transportation and living with one less car.

The national average for a monthly unreserved parking space in a downtown business district is $166.26, according to the 2012 Colliers International Parking Rate Study. Over the course of a year, parking costs for a vehicle can amount to an average of $1,995.

The top 20 cities with the highest public transit ridership are ranked in order of their transit savings based on the purchase of a monthly public transit pass. The savings also factor in local gas prices for December 17, 2013 and the local monthly unreserved parking rate. {….}

Transit-Oriented Development – Avenir Parcel 1A, Boston, MA

Air rights lease for mixed-use commercial, residential and retail development

Project Description: 10-Floor mixed-use, transit oriented development that includes retail, a 121 space parking garage and 241 residential units, including 17 affordable units.

TRA’s Role:
•Identified the development opportunity
•Generated developer interest in the site
•Designed an appropriate public offering format based on extensive community and governmental outreach
•Managed the public bid and selection process
•Navigated a variety of complex operational, environmental, public policy and title issues
•Negotiated the final business deal structure and documents

Client Benefits:
The MBTA received $9.86 million in revenue. Upon sale of residential units, the MBTA will receive an additional $9.86 million.

Status: A 99 year air rights lease between Trinity Financial and the MBTA was signed in June 2005. Construction was completed and occupancy commenced in 2008.

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