Monday, April 6, 2009

Future Housing Near Transit Hit Hard

While we've seen housing that exists near transit hold its value and become a hot commodity during the downturn, we also see the flipside, new housing near transit is not getting built because of the lack of demand for housing, people just don't have money. This is true in Seattle and in the East Bay where big plans exist for transit villages around Link and BART. In Seattle:
For-profit developers proposed more than 1,500 condos and apartments within a 10-minute walk of a station. Now, with the trains to carry their first paying passengers in three months, most of those deals are on hold. Project after project has been delayed or derailed, victimized by tight credit and related economic woes.
In the Bay Area on the Freemont line the plans are getting hit the same way:
All along the East Bay’s Interstate 880 corridor, from Oakland to Fremont, cities are putting plans for hundreds of units of market-rate housing on ice. The projects can’t go forward until the credit crisis thaws, allowing developers to obtain loans that they typically used to build.
I wonder how much more could be built though if they didn't have to worry so much about parking, the bane of every TOD's existence.
In Fremont, for example, where the city wants to build 300 condominiums near its BART station, plans originally called for the housing to sit atop a subterranean parking garage. To avoid the added cost of building an underground parking lot, the developers turned to a new scheme that calls for the multi-story housing to wrap around an elevated parking structure.
The Dallas donut (an apartment building wrapped around an internal parking structure) is usually what the market will bear after (edit: was until) transit, if only it were easier.


Alon Levy said...

The graph you give shows that even after transit, the Dallas donut is the densest kind of development that turns a profit.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Thanks for the catch. I mis-typed.

njh said...

interesting report, thanks PT. Around here (VTA vasona line) the main thing going in is 2 or 3 stacked on top of car parking. I suspect until you can get rid of the car parking higher is not practical.

There have been a a number of high rise apartments built in SJ proper, though I have no idea whether they are selling at all. I suspect not.

Cap'n Transit said...

God, that PDF is depressing. Dallas donut! I'm glad I live in a place where it's profitable to build apartments without parking.