Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No Chump Change

If only we could link land use and transit better here in the United States. In Hong Kong and other places, development is part of the transit plan. Vancouver is about to hire some real estate folks to take care of its property development strategy.

TransLink intends to appoint a committee of local real estate experts to advise it on how best to make money developing land along future rapid transit corridors.

It's the latest wrinkle in TransLink's strategy to amass a major real estate portfolio in partnership with local developers that officials hope would generate at least $30 million a year and possibly much more.

3 comments:

jon said...

i have to say portland and its metro does an excellent job of linking transit to land use especially by US standards. most of the westside max line (opened 1998) was built through undeveloped farmland is now lined with medium density housing oriented around the stations, while the majority of these are not full new urbanism these developments definitely incorporate many aspects of it.

i would say the pearl district and south waterfront in portland are top notch examples of land use linked to transit. the pearl district is an old industrial neighborhood rehabbed and the south waterfront has been built from scratch over the last 4 years.

kenf said...

I do believe this is how large portions of New York City were developed.

And at one time wasn't it the developers who built the streetcar lines to increase the value of their property?

Pedestrianist said...

There are shades of this in BART's plans to develop the parking lots around some of its stations into "transit villages." (barf on the name)

Admittedly without having thought about it at great length, I'd like to see redevelopment agencies get into this. Declare the Geary St corridor a redevelopment zone, then invest bond capital in a subway the length of it and pay those bonds off with increased property taxes from the zone.

I'd also like to see cities and counties getting into the business of buying underused land (through ED or fair market) and selling or developing it. As it is now, cities like SF pull out much hair working to raise property values for the near-exclusive benefit of the private landowners. Why not directly benefit from that as well?! The public would sure have more of a say on what's done with the land than we do through the normal planning process, an the new revenue stream could be funneled into infrastructure improvements and upgrades to the public space that further improve the neighborhood!