The Hop streetcar outside the historic Mackie Building in downtown Milwaukee, WI. (Image: The Hop, Twitter)
A month before a new streetcar line is scheduled to open in Milwaukee, WI, Mayor Tom Barrett and city officials are touting new city data showing a 27.9 percent increase in property values (to an estimated $3.95 billion) since construction of the line was announced in 2015. This is compared with a citywide increase of 13.4 percent over the same time period.
The streetcar project, known as The Hop, cost $124 million and has long been seen as an economic development tool. So much so that part of the project’s funding is tied directly to development and value capture along the line. In addition to federal funding, The Hop relies on $59 million from three separate tax increment financing districts.
Streetcars—and fixed guideway transit generally—have been seen as potential economic development magnets but boosters should be mindful of the processes that have made certain lines successful while others have failed. For more on streetcars or the potential for value capture along transit lines, check out Street Smart: Streetcars and Cities in the 21st Century or Aligning Transit and Real Estate: An Integrated Financial Strategy in the TODresources.org library.
Recent TOD news
Here are a few things that have been happening this week with TOD projects across the country.
- TOD Comes to Fort Worth, TX (Next City)
- Half billion dollar potential for Durham-Orange light rail stations (News & Observer)
- Access to transit may have saved homeowners in last recession (London School of Economics)
- Miami Metrorail station could get 40-story building (Miami Herald)
- Could walkability outweigh transit access in land valuations now? (ULI)