TOD proceeds slowly in Maryland


Designated TOD sites in Maryland (Image: MDOT)

Baltimore’s Metro SubwayLink runs from the Owings Mills suburb into downtown Baltimore, ending at Johns Hopkins University. The access to downtown and one of the country’s premier research hospitals makes the area around Owings Mills a great location for new homes and offices, according to developers.

Forty-six acres of land around Owings Mills have been made available for development by Maryland DOT (MDOT) since 2007 and the space is slowly filling. Developer Howard Brown believes in the area’s potential for a walkable urban form so much that his development company built a parking garage (to compensate for spaces lost to construction) and has worked with the community to open a library and community college in addition to two residential buildings. “Infrastructure and several other buildings are done or planned, including a Marriott-flagged hotel and a third apartment building.” (Baltimore Sun)

There are, as always, potential obstacles to transit-oriented development at the station and around other transit adjacent properties in the region; unreliable trains due to maintenance, a downward ridership trend, and limited transit access to other parts of the region among the obstacles.

But while TOD lags in Baltimore compared to other cities, there is hope that things can change. Maryland as a state is supportive of TOD, with statutes that allow projects in TOD designated areas to receive better access to special discretionary programs, technical assistance, and expanded scope to pursue diverse sources of financing including TIF and tax credits. As of May 2018, 18 station areas have received priority status for support from MDOT including Owings Mills.

To learn more about TOD at the corridor and regional scale, visit the TOD resources website for TOD 203 and TOD 204 guidebooks.

Recent TOD news

Here are a few things that have been happening this week with TOD projects across the country.

  • Plans for housing at North Berkeley BART station developed under landmark new law (Berkeleyside)
  • Vacant land around Denver’s Broadway Station will finally see development (Denverite)
  • After past scandal, Utah Transit Authority adopts new TOD Policy (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Fort Worth looking to TEXRail stations for new development (Fort Worth Star Telegram)
  • GoTriangle looks for development partner for parcel in downtown Raleigh (Triangle Business Journal)