As major West Coast cities attract more residents, housing costs rise, and traffic worsens, efficient mass transit will play a crucial role as the most effective ways to handle strong urban growth and the transportation of large numbers of people. Enormous transit expansions in Seattle and Los Angeles, as well as smaller expansions in already transit-rich Portland and the San Francisco Bay Area, offer residents new and better ways to travel in congested regions without adding to the traffic.
So, what exactly is Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)? In the broadest sense of the term, it is development that specifically responds to the proximity of a transit line or station and treats it as an important and unique site asset. TODs are physically designed to be close to a train station or bus terminal. They emphasize mass transit as the primary transportation mode for local residents as opposed to traditional developments that are simply adjacent to transit. Traditional developments see transit stations as neighbors, while TODs view them as an integral part of the design.
TODs are most efficient and productive in large, highly-urbanized cities with intensely-concentrated land use patterns, such as New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and London. Individual cars perform poorly in these areas, whereas public transit thrives. Additionally, the lands around transit stations are ideal spots for creating affordable housing. In Seattle, Sound Transit is mandated to foster equitable housing development by requiring them to offer excess station land first to those that provide affordable housing at 80% Area Median Income (AMI).
Ankrom Moisan has extensive expertise and an expansive portfolio of transit-oriented development projects for the leading market rate multi-family and affordable housing developers in the Seattle, Portland, Bay Area, and Southern California markets.
- In Portland, the firm has designed 15 TODs stretching from Hillsboro to Gresham, including the Ankrom Moisan headquarters, oriented directly on the MAX line in Old Town Chinatown, right at the hub of the system.
- In Seattle, the firm has designed 20 large transit-oriented projects in South Lake Union and Capitol Hill, as well as a brand new affordable housing project for Mercy Housing on former excess Sound Transit land.
- In the San Francisco Bay Area, Ankrom Moisan has developed two such projects, including one at the MacArthur BART station and another at the San Leandro BART, and several community TOD projects in the Mission Bay railyard-turned-neighborhood.
- Our firm has also designed transit-oriented projects in Downtown Los Angeles, Tucson, and Salt Lake City over the last decade.
At AMA, we approach TOD projects by:
- Listening to our clients and their needs.
- Partnering with clients who develop both affordable and market-rate, mixed-use buildings.
- Understanding the needs and constraints of diverse developers while finding opportunities to bring them together on complex, multi-faceted projects.
- Collaborating with other specialty firms and consultants to create well-rounded projects.