Transit-Oriented Development

North Santa Rosa Station Area Specific Plan & EIR

Client: City of Santa Rosa
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
The City of Santa Rosa retained Strategic Economics as part of a consulting team led by PMC to prepare the North Santa Rosa Station Area Specific Plan.  The North Santa Rosa Station is one of 14 stations being planned by the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) District for commuter rail service between Cloverdale and Larkspur, California.  Strategic Economics evaluated the market for residential and commercial uses, and evaluated what building types might be feasible for a developer to build in the short- to medium- term.  Based on this analysis, the Station Area Plan was shaped to reflect the study area’s specific market realities, including the potential price impacts created by new transit service. The firm also prepared an affordable housing strategy and helped create a financing and phasing plan that included strategies for implementing the public and private improvements required in the study area. In September 2012, the Station Area Plan was adopted by the Santa Rosa City Council. In 2013, the City and team’s work received the APA’s Award of Merit for Neighborhood Planning.

South Hayward BART/Mission Boulevard Concept Plan

Client: Hayward Redevelopment Agency, Planning Department
Location: Hayward, CA
Strategic Economics worked with Community Design + Architecture to create a land use plan for the South Hayward BART Station, which is located in a highly diverse community close to one of Hayward’s major traffic arterials, Mission Boulevard.  Strategic Economics performed a market analysis identifying the opportunities for transit-oriented housing and commercial uses in the area, and focused on the strategic relationship between station area development and revitalization of the Mission Boulevard corridor.  Among other issues, the commercial market analysis measured the potential for a new grocery store, and concluded that the area’s diverse community could support an ethnic grocery store without impacting sales of existing grocery stores nearby.  Strategic Economics also completed a dynamic fiscal impact analysis comparing the net tax revenues and projected tax increment generated by four potential development concepts.

West Corridor TOD Implementation Strategy

Client: Denver Housing Authority, Metro West Housing Solutions, City of Denver, City of Lakewood
Location: Denver, CO
Working as a part of the Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD), Strategic Economics collaborated with Reconnecting America and the West Corridor Working Group (WCWG) to develop an implementation strategy for the West Corridor of Denver’s Light Rail system. Set to open in 2013, the West Line is the first rail line being built as a part of the Denver Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) $6 billion FasTracks transit expansion program. The WCWG is a unique partnership led by two housing authorities that own a significant amount of property along the line. The team was tasked with creating an implementation strategy for the entire West Corridor, that built upon adopted station area vision plans. Strategic Economics West_Corridor_Existing Typologycharacterized conditions in the corridor, including an analysis of demographic, employment, and real estate market data as well as development opportunities. Strategic Economics then identified implementation actions that would both capitalize on the benefits each station area would likely capture as a result of the new transit service, and ensure that future investments (public and private) would support and enhance existing neighborhoods.  This work contributed to the formulation of a “typology” of station areas reflecting the range of opportunities appropriate for each station type. Since the completion of this project, the WCWG has moved forward with forming a new non-profit entity to obtain grants and manage other implementation activities for the West Corridor.

Sustainable Transportation and Land Use Integration Study

Client: Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG)
Location: Phoenix, AZ
The Maricopa Association of Governments commissioned this study to evaluate its recently developed regional transit framework; to better understand the role of land use changes in creating more robust transit ridership; and, to test various land use scenarios against economic and real estate market trends.  As part of a consultant team led by Arup, Strategic Economics provided the “economic reality check” for this assignment.  SE’s work included a spatial analysis of the region’s major existing employment concentrations.  The analysis showed how well the proposed transit network would serve employment areas with characteristics most likely to support transit ridership, and it estimated future demand for both residential and office based transit-oriented development in the region.  In addition, Strategic Economics tested the financial feasibility of a range of housing types, and identified the financing strategies and public policy “levers” most likely to catalyze new development near transit.

Portland Metro TOD Strategic Plan

Client: Metro Regional Center
Location: Portland, OR
Working with Reconnecting America, Strategic Economics assisted Portland Metro’s TOD Program staff update their Transit-Oriented Development Strategic Plan. A key part of this effort was assisting the Metro TOD staff  revise their existing TOD grant program to be more strategic about where the Agency chooses to invest, so that projects receiving Metro TOD funds have a greater potential to catalyze other TOD.  As part of this effort, the CTOD team worked closely with Metro staff to create a typology of the region’s more than 50 transit station areas that helps prioritize and direct these TOD Program investments.  For the development of the Strategic Plan, CTOD also evaluated the program’s use of available resources and identified opportunities for additional leverage of funds, finance tools and strategic partnerships, both internal and external to Metro. The final Strategic Plan supported Metro’s TOD Program goal to more effectively meet its overall work plan, as well as to generally assist the Portland Metro Region implement its 2040 growth plan. Read the Plan here.

Rails to Real Estate: Development Patterns Along Three New Transit Lines

Client: Federal Transit Administration
Locations: St. Paul, MN; Denver, CO; Charlotte NC
Working with the Center for Transit Oriented Development (CTOD), Strategic Economics evaluated real estate development activity along three recently built light rail transit lines in the United States: the Hiawatha Line in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region of Minnesota, the Southeast Corridor in the Denver region of Colorado, and the Blue Line in the Charlotte region of North Carolina.  Findings from this analysis show common development patterns across these three very different transit lines, illustrating what can realistically be expected about the scale, timing and location of private investment along new transit lines. This critical information aids communities in creating value capture mechanisms and other implementation strategies to fund transit and stimulate TOD.  A follow-up to the Rails to Real Estate report is forthcoming in winter 2013. Read the 2011 report here.

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