What Is the Hottest Trend in Developing Urban Lifestyle Hubs? by Curtis Battles

{3:10 minutes to read} Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is the blending of a residential and/or commercial area designed to maximize access to public transportation, essentially a self-contained lifestyle center. These communities frequently include elements and features such as restaurants, shopping, apartments, and offices, which enhance and encourage that mode of transportation. TODs are typically located within one-quarter to one-half a mile from a transit stop.

My recent blog article discussed the 2nd Century Master Development Plan taking shape at Union Station in Washington D.C. Union Station is an ideal example of a TOD, as it offers an inside look at transforming the adjacent neighborhood into a new hub for work, life, and play. This public/private project is a balancing act. The key items to be addressed include Amtrak’s need to secure additional track capacity to handle twice the volume of Acela trains, and accommodating 3 million square feet of new and mixed-use development in the immediate area.

Another example of a well-known and successful TOD is right in the heart of Manhattan: Grand Central Terminal. Recently, the stunning Beaux-Arts Terminal underwent a re-imagining, transforming into a vibrant public space that offers a unique blend of innovative retail, gourmet restaurants, and a flexible entertainment venue.

Many developers are considering erecting office buildings, retail centers, and residential components around various train stations because people want amenities and entertainment options right at their fingertips. These TOD projects can bring new demographic segments to the region by attracting people who want to work where they live and forgo the commute.

The Implementation of TOD in Stamford, Connecticut

The state of Connecticut has approved a new project to replace the aging main parking garage at Stamford’s transportation center. The new plan calls for building a hotel, residential, and office complex tower directly above it, which will also increase parking capacity adjacent to the station. The new facility, being built by SMDV, is expected to be completed by the spring of 2018.

How could Transit-Oriented Developments enhance and revitalize your community and your world? Contact me to discuss the possibilities!

Curtis C. Battles