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transit oriented development

Expect to see more transit-oriented housing in the future

Roger K. Lewis | The Washington Post

A rendering of the proposed Elizabeth Square development near the downtown Silver Spring Metro station. (Lee Development Group and Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County)
A rendering of the proposed Elizabeth Square development near the downtown Silver Spring Metro station. (Lee Development Group and Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County)

Transit-oriented development, or TOD, is rapidly gaining momentum in the Washington region and will likely become a  key component in this area’s efforts to address traffic congestion, pollution and quality-of-life issues.

TOD has become the dominant public- and private-1sector planning strategy for real estate development and redevelopment throughout the metropolitan area and isn’t limited to downtown Washington. TOD projects are under way or being envisioned in Maryland and Virginia counties.

Arlington County’s Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, with five Orange Line Metro stations, remains the foremost TOD example in this region. Metro stations are the anchors for TOD strategies and tactics guiding the multi-decade makeover of Tysons in Fairfax County; redevelopment of White Flint, Twinbrook and Wheaton in Montgomery County; and planning for New Carollton in Prince George’s County.

Transit-oriented development is driven in part by real estate market forces and changing demographics. Studies show  that single-person households are now the most common household type, and that young adults as well as seniors prefer living in pedestrian-oriented, urban-style communities served by transit. Thus, several key attributes typify and characterize transit-oriented development. Read more

 

Is urban renewal Miami’s next economic engine?

Carly Grimm | Lexology

Miami may soon join the ranks of other major U.S. metropolises boasting innovative urban trail projects that have transformed neighborhoods and ignited a firestorm of private investment. The Underline, a proposed development catalyzed by the nonprofit group Friends of the Underline in partnership with Miami-Dade County, will convert the underutilized land below the County’s Metrorail line into a landmark system of urban trails and linear parks integrated with County transit.

A look at other comparable projects around the country suggests the Underline may be a powerful economic driver for Miami. New York City’s much-lauded High Line, a roughly 1.5-mile elevated linear park built on an unused portion of the New York Central Railroad, draws nearly five million visitors each year and has spurred $2 billion in adjacent real estate development. In Atlanta, the transformation of a 22-mile historic rail corridor into linear parks and multi-use trails known as the Beltline has generated $2.4 billion in private development.

The project may also have less obvious economic effects, such as attracting and retaining young talent in Miami. Millennials place a high premium on connected, transit-oriented communities that offer a sense of place and alternatives to hours spent crawling in traffic. The Underline can help take Miami off the list of the nation’s deadliest cities for pedestrians and put it on the map as a livable, vibrant destination for young professionals. Read more

 

Two new walkable villages planned near MARTA stations

Andria Simmons | AJC.com

A rendering of the planned Candler Park/Edgewood Transit-Oriented Development. The Columbia Ventures project will feature about 400 apartments, 10,000 square feet of retail and a public park. Construction is expected to begin by early 2016. The development is estimated to generate 387 to 540 new daily transit trips for MARTA.
A rendering of the planned Candler Park/Edgewood Transit-Oriented Development. The Columbia Ventures project will feature about 400 apartments, 10,000 square feet of retail and a public park. Construction is expected to begin by early 2016. The development is estimated to generate 387 to 540 new daily transit trips for MARTA.

MARTA announced Tuesday that it will make properties adjacent to two of its rail stations available to developers interested in building pedestrian-friendly villages.

The first is a 6.2-acre parcel at Arts Center Station in Midtown. That’s a “more complicated site,” explained Amanda Rhein, who directs the MARTA Transit-Oriented Development program, because it would involve construction on an area that is currently part bus/intermodal stop, part station, part parking space and part undeveloped land.

The second, 3-acre parcel is at Oakland City station. Transit agency officials believe it is ripe for redevelopment because of its proximity to the Atlanta Beltline Westside Trail and Fort McPherson.

MARTA is looking at bringing walkable developments to 11 of its 38 rail stations. Developers have been identified for three of the projects at King Memorial, Avondale and Edgewood/Candler Park. Proposals are actively being solicited for Chamblee, Brookhaven and Arts Center. Later this year, a request for proposals for Oakland City Station will be released. Other station sites are still being decided. Read more

 

Real Estate Investors Seek Rising Industrial Strength

Jose Gose | Investors Business Daily

A rendering of the planned Candler Park/Edgewood Transit-Oriented Development. The Columbia Ventures project will feature about 400 apartments, 10,000 square feet of retail and a public park. Construction is expected to begin by early 2016. The development is estimated to generate 387 to 540 new daily transit trips for MARTA.Rising rents and low vacancies coupled with lagging new supply — and billions of dollars searching for assets — have ignited a booming trade of industrial properties around the U.S.

Despite the country’s moribund economic output in the first quarter, overseas buyers looking for safe havens are more aggressively targeting U.S. industrial assets, which include warehouses and “flex” buildings that typically feature offices or showroom areas in addition to warehouse, research and development, or manufacturing space.

Not only are buyers from Asia and Europe displacing Canada as the biggest group of foreign investors in U.S. industrial deals, but cross-border capital generally is also spreading more cash beyond primary and secondary markets, according to a recent report on foreign investment by Chicago-based commercial real estate services firm JLL.

Even with the expected completion of 171 million square feet of new industrial space this year, following 142 million square feet built last year, supply is still below the annual average of 184 million from 2004 through 2008, says JLL. Read more

 

Study of vehicle emissons will aid urban sustainability efforts

Staff | Phys Org

A map of 2012 on-road CO2 emissions for the coterminous United States and selected urban areas at a resolution of 1 km. (Insets) Maps show details of metro areas surrounding Seattle (A), Los Angeles (B), Houston (C), Atlanta (D), and Boston (E). Credit: Boston University
A map of 2012 on-road CO2 emissions for the coterminous United States and selected urban areas at a resolution of 1 km. (Insets) Maps show details of metro areas surrounding Seattle (A), Los Angeles (B), Houston (C), Atlanta (D), and Boston (E). Credit: Boston University

Vehicles churn out about 28 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) generated from fossil fuels in the United States, and their contribution keeps climbing, particularly in urban areas. But planners and policymakers have lacked a good handle on just how much CO2 is produced by vehicle travel in cities and suburbs, which is key knowledge for urban or statewide greenhouse gas control efforts. Now, Boston University (BU) researchers have created DARTE (Database of Road Transportation Emissions), a new nationwide data inventory that can help to provide this crucial information.

Constructed from the Federal Highway Administration’s Highway Performance Monitoring System database of roadway traffic, DARTE brings together 33 years of data for CO2 emissions from roads across the entire country on a very tight scale—only one kilometer wide.

Early findings in DARTE highlight the ongoing shift in the U.S. towards urban traffic and emissions. “DARTE reveals that urban areas were responsible for 80 percent of the growth in vehicle CO2 emissions since 1980, and for 63 percent of total 2012 vehicle CO2 emissions,” says Conor Gately, a graduate student in BU’s Department of Earth and Environment, and lead author on a paper published today in the journal PNAS.

DARTE also has demonstrated that although planners and researchers often use population density figures to predict local levels of CO2 production by vehicles, such predictions may be wildly off. Read more

 

Metro Denver TOD affordable housing generated $598 million in 5 years, study finds

Molly Armbrister | Denver Business Journal

Commercial real-estate brokers are marketing images like this one, of Tribeca. PHOTO: LEONARD STEINBERGBuilding and renovating subsidized rental apartments at transit sites in the Denver metro area generated $598 million and more than 7,000 local jobs in the last five years, according to a study commissioned by Urban Land Conservancy, Housing Colorado and Mile High Connects.

Between 2009 and 2013, construction on affordable housing accounted for $543 million in local income and $54 million in taxes and other revenues for local governments, the study said. In addition, 7,345 jobs have been created in the same time frame by building and renovating subsidized apartments.

The study was completed by Washington, D.C.-based economist Elliot Eisenberg using data provided by the Piton Foundation.

“With the cost of shelter in the metro Denver region rising and wages failing to keep up, affordable housing development is more important than ever,” Eisenberg said. “Transit-oriented development is clearly a part of this region’s housing solution.”

Eisenberg presented the findings to a group of policy makers, housing experts and investors this week. Read more

 

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