Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)
While with Sedway Group I was hired by Samtrans to assist the San Mateo County Transit District (Samtrans), the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, and the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board in soliciting and evaluating joint development proposals to redevelop several parcels of land adjacent to the Holly Street Caltrain station in San Carlos, California. A highly successful RFQ/RFP process resulted in BRE, Essex and Legacy Partners bidding for the site. Legacy was ultimately selected and I coordinated the ground lease negotiations for Samtrans. The project is expected to break ground in 2010.
City of South San Francisco/El Camino Corridor Study: Analysis of Alternative BART Station Sites and Alignments
Based on economic development, land use, and fiscal criteria defined by the City of South San Francisco, I determined which of two alternative station sites should be preferred. Then, based on the selected station site and long-term real estate market and land use trends, we recommended alternative transit supportive development and redevelopment strategies for the corridor and analyzed the likely economic land use and fiscal impacts of each. These analyses and strategies were especially important in helping the City win its argument that the BART line should be underground through the City.
City of Oakland and Bay Area Rapid Transit/Coliseum/Oakland Airport BART Station Area Concept Plan
While with Sedway Group I served as the lead consultant on a team that included urban design and engineering firms in the preparation of a Concept Plan for the Coliseum/Oakland Airport BART Station area. Sedway Group performed an assessment of existing physical conditions and development context of the Station area and an analysis of the short and long-term market potential of multiple land uses, as well as participating in several community meetings. From these tasks, the consulting team recommended a land use program for defined sub-areas of the Station area. Sedway Group then directed the development of a conceptual plan outlining two illustrative development scenarios, each containing a residential transit village adjacent to the BART Station and different degrees and types of commercial development adjacent to the Oakland/Alameda County Coliseum Sports Complex. The Concept Plan also outlined an implementation strategy that included suggested regulatory changes, marketing and financing strategies, phasing of development and a recommended three-year action plan for the public agency clients.
Contra Costa Transportation Authority/Economic Development Assessment of Two Alternate BART Station Locations
While with CBREC I was retained by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority to assess the economic development potential of two alternative BART station locations in East Contra Costa County. A focus of the assignment was to assess the degree to which each alternative site could stimulate economic development, with particular attention to the potential economic impact on Pittsburg’s downtown, bearing in mind that station development would occur within the next 20 years. To conduct this economic development assessment, I analyzed surrounding land uses, assessed demographic and economic trends, and reviewed relevant city plans and policies. In addition, I identified the key determinants that seem to affect the amount and timing of station area economic impacts to facilitate comparative analysis of the two sites. This included a qualitative discussion of the reasons for the vast differences in economic development impacts that have been experienced at BART stations located in outlying, suburban locations, as well as the reasons for similar variations at transit stations in other regions of the country.
Following on my work on a BART Station Concept Plan, I led a Sedway Group team, in conjunction with ROMA Design and Wilbur Smith Associates, in the preparation of a California Specific Plan for the 116-acre station area. The Plan included major new commercial development of office, hotel and retail uses. The 40.7-acre Plan Area includes 11 development parcels with a preliminary development program of 1.1 million square feet of office space, 1,000 hotel rooms, 390 multifamily residential units, and 74,000 square feet of retail space. Sedway Group’s work scope included a draft financing plan, an analysis of the overall plan feasibility, and a calculation of fiscal revenues generated by the land uses in the Plan. For the financial feasibility component, we estimated the value of each parcel as if improved with the various Plan area land uses. Development costs (including developer profit) were then subtracted from the improved values to determine the residual value remaining for land and infrastructure improvements. Significant infrastructure improvements were deemed necessary to support new development in the Plan Area, including street improvements, utility infrastructure (including sewer treatment and water system upgrades), enhanced streetscape, and landscape and lighting. An engineering firm estimated costs for these improvements, which Sedway Group then allocated to each parcel based on a pro rata share formula. Based on the estimated infrastructure burden, Sedway Group concluded that from a private development perspective, the location, amount, and types of development envisioned in the Plan were financially feasible under current and near-term market conditions. Because the City’s policy direction is that new development in the Specific Plan area must pay for its own infrastructure, and that the City’s and Agency’s financial positions do not allow for consideration of subsidy or advance funding of the needed infrastructure, Sedway Group estimated appropriate development fees supported by each land use. I also commented on various other financing mechanisms the City could use to facilitate infrastructure improvements, including tax increment financing, federal and state grants, private sector financing, special assessment districts, and Mello-Roos community facilities districts.
Portland Development Commission, City of Portland, and Tri-Met/Portland Transit Corridor Development Feasibility Study
As part of the planning of a regional rail system for the Portland area, I participated in feasibility studies involving alternative route alignments in a variety of light rail corridors stretching south to Milwaukie, Oregon, and north to Vancouver, Washington. As part of the overall feasibility analysis, the city, working in concert with Tri-Met and the Portland Development Commission, wished to address the relative potential for transit-supportive development among the alternative routes. I was retained to conduct the economic development component of the feasibility analysis, evaluate the transit-supportive development potential of eight alternative alignments within the two corridors, assess the feasibility of developing a successful “transit corridor economic development strategy,” and for alignments where such a strategy seems possible, I outlined the major elements of a successful strategy. The study was especially pivotal in the subsequent decision to follow the “Interstate” alignment rather than the Martin Luther King alternative.
McClellan Station Area Development Strategy/City of Seattle Strategic Planning Office
Working closely with the City’s Strategic Planning Office, Sound Transit and local stakeholders, I led (as part of Sedway Group) a consulting team composed of Pollock & Company, Hewitt Architects and Weinstein Copeland in defining a recommended Station Area Development Strategy for the McClellan Station. The recommendations were based on a rigorous evaluation of station area opportunities and constraints, existing and anticipated market conditions for various transit-oriented land uses, and development feasibility analyses of four key opportunity sites. An important conclusion of the study was that McClellan could become a catalytic station in terms of future TOD-style development along the Rainier Valley Corridor. The study defined key development concepts, suggested phasing, and identified critical implementation factors.
Bay Area Rapid Transit District/Station Area Plans
In the mid to late 1980s, BART decided to encourage higher density development at and around its stations. This was accomplished principally by two means: more active involvement in local land use planning around stations, and establishment of a program to explore the potential for joint development on BART’s surface parking lots at stations. As BART’s first manager of transit-oriented I directed station area planning and development feasibility studies at over a dozen existing and planned BART stations in as many different jurisdictions. In addition to the general impact of higher density zoning at the stations, these efforts created planning entitlements for BART worth well in excess of $30 million. In roughly half of these jurisdictions, both the city and the redevelopment agency were involved. At some stations, the development program was in excess of a million square feet.
Southern California Rapid Transit District/Los Angeles
While with Sedway Group I helped Los Angeles Metro Rail Transit System formulate and amend its transit-oriented development policies and practices. As part of this evaluation, I analyzed the general fiscal impacts of the alternative systems to the City of Los Angeles and local servicing agencies.
While with CBREC, I was asked to advise Translink on multiple occasions on the their joint development policies, how to optimize their station area land acquisitions to generate funding for the system expansion, including the line to Richmond and the airport.