NoMa, one of DC’s newest walkable neighborhoods, and site of the 2013 Leadership Summit walking tour. Photo by Noma BID, via Flickr.
As the only organization working directly on behalf of developers and investors of walkable urban, transit-oriented and smart growth development, LOCUS is constantly striving to build its advocacy capacity on the national and state level to protect and voice their …
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing to release new rules regarding stormwater management that will set new standards for development projects. How will these new regulations impact infill development? And what do developers need to know?
For more than 50 years, the dominant development model in the United States has been the familiar ‘driveable suburban’ approach. Today however, a structural shift is underway in the real estate market as demand increases for walkable urban development – and the DC region is leading the way.
Now, LOCUS, in collaboration with the George Washington University School of Business and ULI Washington, is proud to announce a five-day executive education course this summer aimed at providing real estate professionals the tools they need to take advantage of this of this market transformation. The course, which will be held from June 10th to 14th in Washington DC, features an impressive line up of developers, elected officials, place managers and others at the forefront of transforming Washington D.C. into the nation’s leading market for walkable urban development.
Each year, the Steering Committee of LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors gathers in Washington to discuss and set the program’s federal policy agenda.
When LOCUS was formed in 2008, its Steering Committee consisted of a handful of committed real estate developers who believed the voice of the smart growth development community was missing from policy discussions in Washington. In a testament to how the program has grown since that time, our 2013 Winter Steering Committee meeting featured nearly 30 leading real estate developers and investors from across the country including our newest members, Rod Lawrence of The JBG Companies, and Jair Lynch of Jair Lynch Development Partners, both leading developers of walkable development in the DC metro area.
Architect’s rendering of the M-1 light rail. Image via M-1 RAIL Summer 2012 Project Update.
A group of private sector leaders in Detroit are looking toward a new light rail project to help revive the fortunes of the former car capital.
The group is so confident in the potential of a line, known as the M-1 light rail, they’ve put up nearly $90 million in private funding to make the project a reality. If successful, the group would set a new precedent for the “rail as economic development” paradigm, and provide a new model for cities across the country looking to catalyze smart growth.
The proposed line would run 3.4 miles along Detroit’s Woodward Avenue from the New Center neighborhood to downtown and the riverfront, connecting some of the city’s biggest attractions and job centers. The line would run curbside along Woodward Avenue and provide connections to Detroit’s People Mover and Amtrak station, as well as a planned regional bus rapid transit system.
Business leaders tout new rail line as boost to Twin Cities’ economic competitiveness at ULI, LOCUS MN event
The Hiawatha light rail line in downtown Minneapolis, MN is already popular. Photo by Matt Johnson via Flickr.
Leaders in the Twin Cities know that rail transit will be a key component of the cities’ future economic competitiveness, and they’re eager to catch-up with their regional peers in creating a comprehensive transit network.
Since opening in 2004, the Twin Cities’ only light rail line, the Hiawatha Line, has far ridership exceeded expectations. Construction has already begun on the region’s second line, the Central Corridor Line, which will connect downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul and is expected to be completed in 2014. Now, attention is shifting to the Twin Cities’ southwest corridor, home to large corporate office parks and wide highways, where the planned Southwest Corridor Light Rail Transit line has the potential to not only change how people get around, but also the shape of the region’s future development.
“Seattle Streetcar,” by Flickr user Sean Marshall.
For those not familiar, they could be forgiven for mistaking the opening speaker at this month’s Transit Financing Workshop in Seattle for an ardent smart growth advocate. And in many ways he is. He just also happens to be the Mayor of Seattle.
Mayor Michael McGinn’s comments about the critical role walkable neighborhoods and transit play in economic development set the stage for a day-long event about transit-oriented development in the Puget Sound region on October 4, 2012. Sponsored by Transportation for America, LOCUS Washington, the Transportation Choices Coalition, ULI Northwest and the Quality Growth Alliance, the event brought together leaders from the business, real estate, advocacy, and government sectors to discuss transit, transit-finance, and how the Seattle region can better position itself for future growth.
The failure of Atlanta’s transportation ballot measure late last month led to speculation among many analysts about what the vote meant for other regions across the country looking for ways to fund infrastructure projects. But though the Atlanta vote captured the lion’s share of media attention, another vote cast in July could hold as much – if not more – importance in coming years.
In an increasingly contentious political environment, it can be difficult to get important transportation projects off the ground. Finding funding sources for these projects, no matter how valuable they might be, can prove politically impossible, with many people skeptical over both increased spending and revenue creation sources. Gas taxes are almost entirely a non-starter, and despite the fact that 79 percent of transportation ballot measures overall passed in 2011, according to the Center for Transit Excellence, they can still fall victim to the kinds of pressures seen in the metro Atlanta area.
The Atlanta region has some of the worst traffic congestion in the nation. Following Tuesday’s T-SPLOST vote, residents will have to wait even longer for relief. Voters in the 10-county Atlanta region voted Tuesday to overwhelmingly reject the T-SPLOST ballot measure Tuesday. By increasing the regional sales tax one cent for ten years, that measure would have raised an estimated $7.2 billion for transportation projects aimed at relieving Atlanta’s congestion. The measure was defeated by a margin of 63 to 37.