10 Strategies for Attracting Development Near Transit

10 May

Coaxing investors to build cohesive, community-serving developments near transit isn’t an easy task. It takes coordination, political will, and lots of partnering between neighborhood stakeholders, private sector actors, and public entities.

ELP’s Katherine Perez recently spoke about this topic at the “Lets Build Around Light Rail” event hosted by Citizens for Modern Transit in St. Louis. She outlined ten strategies for attracting development near transit, which we’ve included below.

1. Invest in walkability because corridors around the development matter and how riders get to the stations is important.

2. Increase transit to create value. It’s important to link all modes of transportation — buses, bikes and scooters, pedestrians, automobiles and commuter rail — so they run smoothly and efficiently, Perez said.

3. Concentrate new development in “nodes,” creating clusters of development to reinforce the activity. “Retail doesn’t like to operate independently unless you’re Wal-Mart,” she said.

4. Start with downtown-oriented development and leverage it.

5. Use new public facilities such as city buildings, community centers, libraries and parks to spark new development.

6. Manage, organize and control parking by building it for tomorrow using today’s parking standards. Parking is the biggest challenge in suburban markets, Perez said.

7. Invest according to your ambitions. Public-private partnerships are a must for large, complicated sites and require time, investment and commitment, Perez said.

8. Work with existing neighborhoods and create cohesion with them. Incorporate existing features in the plan even if it’s on a temporary basis.

9. Get the density right. A transit oriented development doesn’t mean you need to stack a high-rise there, she said. The best ones have housing that is respectful of the existing community and complements it.

10. Educate the public on transit oriented development, build trust and align expectations with reality. With social networking, traditional public meetings aren’t the only way to spread the word, Perez said.

For the full run-down of Katherine’s talk click here.

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