New Transit Oriented Development Bill Introduced to the Senate

On Friday May 2nd, Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Kirsten Milibrand (D-NY), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced a bill that “would support community development that integrates housing, amenities and commercial development into walkable neighborhoods located near quality public transportation.” The bill, the Transit-Oriented Development Infrastructure Financing Act (S. 2275), will allow the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program to provide loans and various other forms of guarantees to public projects for those neighborhoods near public transportation. These funding opportunities are extremely important because it is hard to find a “developer who has resources enough to finance the upfront costs of public infrastructure and utilities before the revenue from the finished development starts rolling in.”

The bill will allow eligible communities to create public-private partnerships to stimulate economic development growth around the areas where public transportation stations are located. It is extremely important to attract more millennials and active baby boomers who are looking for housing and amenities that are easy to access either by public transportation, biking, or walking. In addition, TOD helps better access to jobs and reduces traffic and use of cars.

The White Flint metro station is in the heart of the redevelopment in the White Flint district for this reason. The Sector Plan is following this strategy because building development around public transportation stations is one effective strategy to bring economic and social growth to a neighborhood community.  Just as we’ve approached most things creatively in this plan, financing of infrastructure and utilities was no different.  It was for this reason that many developers created the White Flint Partnership.  In doing so, they pooled resources to share the burden of infrastructure and utility investments, so that the first developer to break ground wouldn’t have to foot the bill for everyone.  It’s these smart and collaborative solutions that keep White Flint at the forefront – we’re really proud of them!