Folks in Omaha are discussing how they'll fund their proposed streetcar, an idea that's been percolating for decades. According to Next City's recent article on Omaha, advocates are pushing hard for an investment in the near future. They're exploring their financing options and ruling out some, but not value capture.
What Lund did share in terms of funding is that Omaha already has multiple taxes levied against restaurants and other businesses, so funding the streetcar with taxes on local businesses “is not the road we’re going down.” He expressed interest in a value capture model, a development tool that finances projects based on the value a property will have after a building project is complete. Lund also pointed to a 2016 Financial Assessment that HDR, Inc., a local architecture firm, created, which analyzed 17 possible funding sources and found three combinations of sources that could make the project financially feasible.
It will be interesting to see where this conversation takes Omaha and whether, like many other streetcars, value capture plays a role in project funding.
Ian Carlton is a transportation and land use expert specializing in transit-oriented development (TOD). He helps clients - including transit agencies, planning departments, and landowners - optimize real estate development around transit.
Special thanks to Burt Gregory at Mithun for permission to use the Portland Streetcar image above.