It's not often that you can gather a conference room full of people interested in transit value capture. Yet, I was able to see several value capture-focused presentations at the RailVolution Conference in Dallas along with about 75 other interested souls. The packed sessions attested to the allure of the topic and the quality of the presentations kept people coming back for more each day of the four-day event.
One presentation on value capture in Florida struck me because of the scale of development that is occurring around transit stations in the white hot Miami real estate market. On Tuesday, October 27th, I joined a session called "Finding the Value, Capturing it and Putting it to Work." Albert Hernandez, the Assistant Director Engineering, Planning and Development for Miami-Dade Transit, gave an overview of the value capture his agency is undertaking.
A $1.3 billion dollar, 5.4 million square foot development occurring in downtown Miami was an over the top example of transit value capture. Gratuitously sexy nighttime renderings of the multi-tower complex accompanied Hernandez's technical description of the value capture process his team conducted.
For sexy nighttime renderings, see slide 15 of the PDF that Albert was kind enough to share with me. The photos in subsequent slides prove that this isn't fiction.
When Squire Properties initially proposed their downtown mega project, Albert's team realized that they owned a 10,000 square foot site adjacent to Squire's land holdings. They put out an RFP for development on the site anticipating that Squire would respond. That they did!
According to Albert, Miami-Dade Transit negotiated an agreement with Squire that the development project would include upgrades to the existing Metromover station, the property owners would take on the long-term maintenance of the upgraded facility, and Squire would make a one-time $2M payment to the agency. The station upgrades were valued at $6M and the avoided maintenance costs were in addition to the one-time sum.
The value capture was made possible by a relatively small parcel that could not accommodate significant development on its own. It was also enabled by the ridiculously strong real estate market that exists in central Miami and a mega project that would have happened with or without the agency's land. Most importantly, savvy staff were monitoring the local market with the interests of the transit agency front of mind.
Check out the rest of Albert's presentation for more information on Miami-Dade Transit's value capture efforts.
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.