Transit Oriented Development Institute
Washington, DC

Transit Oriented Development is hot in cities across America, but nowhere as hot as in the nation's capital. Washington DC is home to the most extensive number of successful and unique TOD projects in the nation, with millions of square feet more under construction. 

Its the perfect setting for the
Transit Oriented Development and Urban Real Estate Conference, coming to DC next month. Join the nation's leading developers, planners, architects and investors to network and share the excitement and best practices of Transit Oriented Development.  

The conference will delve into the creation of successful TODs from a development, finance, and design perspective. Great placemaking will be central to the discussion of creating successful projects. The conference takes place in the heart of one of the fastest growing TOD neighborhoods of DC - NoMa.  

This is a great opportunity to hear the inside story behind the design and delivery of transformative, catalyst projects - both from the public and private side of development. Special guided walking tours of the projects are included to see them up close and in action. Project developers, planners, architects, and managers will be on hand to share the development story.  

Come to Washington DC to learn more and network with the leaders
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 Transit Oriented Development Conference
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Highlighted Speakers
Rod Lawrence - JBG Companies
Rod Lawrence, JBG
Mr. Lawrence has over 25 years of experience at JBG in all areas of commercial real estate investment and development. He has focused on the creation and development of mixed use, transit-oriented development for much of his career as well as the development of over 5 million square feet of GSA leased office space.

He is member of the Steering Committee for LOCUS, a national organization to promote transit-oriented, mixed use, walkable development across the country.  He is a member of the National Board of Directors of NAIOP and is the Vice Chair of the Real Estate Council for the Kogod School at the American University. B.A. Economics, The College of William and Mary; M.B.A. Real Estate and Urban Development, American University.
Evan Goldman - Federal Realty
Evan Goldman, Federal Realty
Mr. Goldman is Vice President of Development and manages the Pike & Rose project, along with other redevelopment opportunities in Federal Realty's portfolio. He joined Federal Realty in July 2008 with ten years of experience in development, finance, and architecture.

Prior to joining Federal Realty, he was a Partner at the Holladay Corporation, a mixed-use development company in Washington, D.C., where he began his involvement with the White Flint Partnership. He has also worked as an Associate for Tishman Speyer Properties and as Vice President of Design for LeRoy Adventures.
Maria Sicola - Cushman & Wakefield
Maria Sicola
Maria Sicola is an executive managing director at Cushman & Wakefield and head of research for the Americas. As the leader of C&W's Americas' Research Team, she is responsible for developing relationships with some of C&W's largest corporate clients, as well as managing regional directors throughout North and South America.

Sicola's work has focused on real estate market analysis, forecasting and site selection. Some of her clients include Citi, Wells Fargo, Goodman Birtcher, SFChina, Crate&Barrel, Prologis and Boston Properties. She also collaborates with George Washington University and LOCUS on the Walkability of urban cities.

Gary Block - The Meridian Group
Gary Block
Gary Block is managing director at The Meridian Group and responsible for the firm's acquisitions, capital and fund management, investor relations, and is a member of the Investment Committee. Mr. Block has over 28 years of industry experience.

Prior to joining Meridian, Mr. Block was with The Carlyle Group, where he was head of the Real Estate Fund's Acquisitions Group. At Carlyle, Mr. Block led and completed over $12 billion of investments ($3.4 billion of equity) in nearly 200 transactions. Investments included the acquisition, development, structured financing and recapitalization of office, hotel, retail, residential, industrial, land, senior living and mixed-use properties. At Carlyle, Mr. Block also led the firm's efforts in the formation of Carlyle Realty Partners I, II, III, IV and V (constituting, in the aggregate, over $5 billion in investor commitments).

Chris Leinberger - LOCUS
Chris Leinberger Christopher Leinberger is a leader in development and has done extensive research on TOD, and how it is transforming settlement patterns and lifestyles across America.

Voted one of the top 100 urban thinkers, Mr. Leinberger
's research is a blueprint on how to approach development that will sell in the new cultural context. Mr. Leinberger is a land use strategist, teacher, developer, researcher and author, balancing business realities with social and environmental concerns. His most recent book is The Option of Urbanism, Investing in a New American Dream. He  is the author of Strategic Planning for Real Estate Companies and has contributed chapters to 12 other books. He is an Op-Ed Contributor to the The New York Times, writes regularly for The Atlantic Monthly and numerous other magazines.
Doug Firstenberg - StonebridgeCarras
Doug Firstenberg Doug Firstenberg is a founding principal of StonebridgeCarras where he focuses on strategic planning and project conceptualization and takes a primary role in major transaction negotiation. He has more than 25 years of experience working on complex real estate financing and directing the implementation of the firm's strategic plans.

Some of his work includes overseeing real estate projects in excess of 10 million square feet and $2.5 billion in costs; Negotiating acquisitions and joint ventures in excess of $1 billion; Negotiating debt financings in excess of $1 billion; Negotiating leases for more than 4.0 million square feet of space; Creating structures for not-for-profit clients that maximize opportunities, using techniques such as ground leases, public/private partnerships and combining public institution debt placement and real estate tax exemption with private sector development programs.

Chris Zimmerman - Smart Growth America
Chris Zimmerman Chris Zimmerman is Vice President for Economic Development at Smart Growth America, and serves as Director of the Governors' Institute on Community Design. Much of his work focuses on the economic and fiscal impact of development policies on localities and regions.

Prior to joining Smart Growth America, for two decades Chris was heavily involved in planning, development, and transportation policy in Arlington County, VA and the greater Washington, DC region. This included work as a neighborhood and civic leader, as a planning commissioner, 18 years as a member of the Arlington County Board, and 13 years on the Board of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, as well as other regional transportation agencies. Prior to his service as an elected official, Mr. Zimmerman was Chief Economist at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Paul Morris - Atlanta Beltline
Paul Morris, Atlanta BeltlinePaul Morris is President & CEO of Atlanta BeltLine and is responsible for the development of the most comprehensive revitalization effort in the history of Atlanta and among the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment and mobility projects in the United States.

This multi-billion dollar sustainable development initiative is providing a network of public parks, multi-use trails and transit linking mixed use development and affordable housing by re-using 22-miles of historic railroad corridors circling downtown and connecting 45 neighborhoods directly to each other. 

Eric Shaw - DC Office of Planning
Eric Shaw - DC Director of Planning Eric Shaw is DC's Director of the Office of Planning. Before joining Mayor Bowser's administration, Eric was the Director of Community and Economic Development for Salt Lake City where he was the lead city official on placed based and development policy. He managed a number of high profile projects including a new citywide engagement program, the restructuring of the small business loan program, and updates to nine city plans including the city's general plan.
He was a leader in planning efforts in post Katrina Louisiana as the Director of Community Planning for the Louisiana Recovery Authority and Vice President of Programs and Policy for Foundation for Louisiana where he edited the nationally recognized Citizens' Guide to Land Use, and Citizens' Guide to Urban Design that trained residents on the principles of land use and urban design.

Karl Moritz - Alexandria Planning Dept.
Karl Moritz Karl Moritz is the Director of Planning for the City of Alexandria, VA. He joined the City in 2008 as Deputy Director for Long Range and Strategic Planning. In that position, Moritz was responsible for neighborhood planning, community development, demographics and forecasting, and geographic information systems.

In 2013, he became Deputy Director for Current Planning and assumed oversight of development, land use and zoning, and historic preservation, as well as staff support for the Planning Commission, the Boards of Architectural Review, and the Board of Zoning Appeals. Prior to his work in Alexandria, Moritz served for 16 years with the Montgomery County, Md., Planning Department and eight years with the Northern Virginia Regional Commission.

Steven Cover - Arlington Planning Dept.
Steven Cover
Steven Cover is the Director of Planning for Arlington County. He joined the County earlier this year and has extensive experience leading local government planning departments.

He joins Arlington County Government from the City of Madison, Wisconsin, where he was the director of the Department of Planning and Community and Economic Development, overseeing a staff of 180, from 2011. In that position, he supervised planning, economic development, building inspections, housing and community development. Cover developed Madison's first comprehensive Transportation Master Plan, and created major redevelopment initiatives   
Conference Project Highlights
Pike and Rose

Pike and Rose, strip center to urbanism!

Bethesda Row

City Center Opens in DC!

New Atlanta Streetcar Spurring TOD
New streetcar spurring new development

Recently Atlanta joined the ranks of American cities investing in new fixed transit systems. Streetcars were phased out of existence on Atlanta's streets in 1949. On December 30, 2014, the city welcomed them back with open arms. Already new TOD development is following!

The Atlanta Streetcar is a 2.7-mile downtown loop, serving 12 stops between Centennial Olympic Park and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. Running east-west, it provides access to MARTA heavy rail lines at Peachtree Center.

Like many fixed transit systems before it, the Atlanta Streetcar is already spurring Transit Oriented Development (TOD). In June, Sanctuary Residential announced plans for a $33 million mixed-use project along the streetcar route, called 200 Edgewood. According to Sanctuary's CEO Bernard Felder, "200 Edgewood will offer high-end, boutique student housing and will be one of the first transit-oriented developments along the new Atlanta Streetcar line. We're thrilled to be contributing to the revitalization of downtown Atlanta."

Groundbreaking took place in February 2012 and the first phase went into operation on December 30, 2014. Future plans include extending the streetcar north to Bankhead's MARTA Station and east to Piedmont Park.  More

New LA Streetcar - One Step Closer
Downtown LA Streetcar

Dreams of a downtown Los Angeles streetcar revival just got a big boost.
The office of City Councilman Jose Huizar just announced that the Federal Transit Administration gave the thumbs up for L.A. to be in the running to receive $75 million in cash from Washington to seed the project.

The federal approval for "project development" means that the streetcar proposal will be vying for the cash under the FTA's "Small Starts" grant program.  More

Another Corporate Move to TOD
Corporations moving to TOD One of the largest transit-oriented developments in the state of California is now attracting a new form of tenants as SurveyMonkey is opting to relocate from its Palo Alto headquarters and lease the first office building in San Mateo's Bay Meadows.

Still under construction, the four-story 210,000-square-foot Class A office building is slated for completion in mid-2016, allowing the online survey company to relocate and expand its headquarters in early 2017, according to Janice Thacher, partner at Wilson Meany.

Decades in the making, Wilson Meany and partner Stockbridge Capital Group broke ground on Station 4, Bay Meadow's first office building at 3050 S. Delaware St., in October. The developers have long hoped the central location of the former race track near State Route 92 and Highway 101 would attract top tenants to Bay Meadows.

"We're delighted to welcome SurveyMonkey to Bay Meadows for its new home," Thacher wrote in an email. "This is a company that doesn't want an isolated campus environment for its workers, but wants to be a member of a vibrant, whole, connected community and that's exactly what Bay Meadows is. With SurveyMonkey as an anchor tenant, we're excited to see other world-class brands join the mix.  More  

Corporate America is Moving Downtown!
Core Values - Why American Companies are Moving Downtown
Core Values
Why American Companies are Moving Downtown

Hundreds of companies across the United States are moving to and investing in walkable downtown locations. As job migration shifts towards cities and as commercial real estate values climb in these places, a vanguard of American companies are building and expanding in walkable downtown neighborhoods.

Core Values examines the characteristics, motives, and preferences of companies that have either relocated, opened new offices, or expanded in walkable downtowns between 2010 and 2015. Smart Growth America partnered with global real estate advisors Cushman & Wakefield to identify nearly 500 companies that have made such a move in the past five years. Of those, we interviewed representatives from more than 40 companies to gain a better understanding of this emerging trend.

The research reveals an enormous diversity of businesses choosing to locate downtown. The companies included in our study represent over 170 specific industries, including 15 software developers and 29 information technology companies, 45 manufacturers, 11 universities and colleges, 7 food production companies, 6 advertising agencies, and 6 oil and gas companies. The group includes 52 companies on the Fortune 500, and 12 of Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For" from 2015. And these companies are of all sizes, from just a few employees to thousands.  
Corporations are moving downtown, where the people want to be!

Many interviewees said they chose vibrant, walkable neighborhoods where people want to both live and work. Companies also wanted their new location to be accessible by a range of transportation options, emphasizing in particular commuting choices for their employees as well as convenient access to the rest of the city and the region.  Read the report

"Denver is building 119 miles of light rail and 70 new stations in a decade, creating huge development opportunities to make the region more livable and sustainable." -Reconnecting America
Denver building the future

Washington DC is home to the most extensive and best transit oriented development in the nation, and has millions of square feet under construction throughout the district.  More | Story  

Washington DC leads the nation with TOD!

The TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE is a national planning initiative to promote and accelerate the roll-out of walkable, mixed-use communities around rail stations. Working to increase the supply of new TODs and rail systems, the TOD Institute brings together business and political leaders with experts to advance knowlege sharing and project dealmaking.


The Transit Oriented Development Institute is a project of the US High Speed Rail Association, America's leading advocate for the development of a 21st century, national rail system. The Transit Oriented Development Institute promotes increased TOD as well as high quality design standards that deliver the best results to the users, the community, the developers, and the rail systems.  


The Transit Oriented Development Institute is run by a team of experts and leaders in rail, urban design, and real estate development.


In This Issue
Quick Links
TOD Principles
The following 10 principles are general guidelines for planning TOD districts and neighborhoods. Densities, details, and design vary project by project depending on many factors including location, context, availability of redevelopment property, surrounding development, etc. 

These 10 principles are a starting point for further work preparing specific local development plans working with the community. Examples of these plans are located on our 'Reports' page.

1. Put stations in locations with highest ridership potential and development opportunities
 2. Designate 1/2 mile radius around station as higher density, mixed-use, walkable development
 3. Create range of densities with highest at station, tapering down to existing neighborhoods
Design station site for seamless pedestrian connections to surrounding development

 5. Create public plaza directly fronting one or more sides of the station building
 6. Create retail and cafe streets leading to station entrances along main pedestrian connections
 7. Reduce parking at station, site a block or two away, direct pedestrian flow along retail streets
 8. Enhance multi-modal connections, making transfers easy, direct, and comfortable
 9. Incorporate bikeshare, a comprehensive bikeway network, and large ride-in bike parking areas
10. Use station as catalyst for major redevelopment of area and great placemaking around station.

Key to laying the foundation for Transit Oriented Development, high quality rail systems encourage the development of compact, mixed-use, walkable communities. High speed rail is the backbone of a rail-based transportation system. When combined with regional rail, light rail, metro systems, and streetcars and trams, a complete and integrated rail network is achieved enabling easy, fast mobility throughout the system.

The rail network becomes the organizing framework for a series of TOD developments into the creation of entire neighborhoods surrounding the rail stations. A series of TOD neighborhoods emerge laid out like pearls along a string. These add up entire networks of walkable communities creating a highly livable, 21st century lifestyle for all.

By making the station and its surrounding development well integrated and pedestrian and bicycle friendly, the 'last mile' connections to local destinations are made easy. Walking and biking to the station becomes a major mode of choice by many.

Ideally, the rail station is located in the middle of downtown or town centers where many destinations are within a short walk or bike ride away. Walkable communities support rail systems by providing high ridership throughout the day, week, and weekend.

Sophisticated new city bike share programs serve the last mile best by making fast door-to-door connections easy with the ability to ride and drop off the bike almost anywhere.  More

Transit oriented development (TOD) is the exciting fast growing trend in creating vibrant, compact, livable, walkable communities centered around high quality train systems.

TODs can be stand-alone communities, or a series of towns strung along a rail line like pearls on a string. TODs are the integration of community design with rail system planning.

High speed rail is the backbone of a rail-based transportation system. When combined with regional rail, light rail, metro systems, streetcars and trams, a complete and integrated rail network is achieved enabling easy, fast mobility throughout the system.

Coordinating and encouraging compact, mixed-use development around the rail stations completes the system by enabling people to live, work, and play along the system without the need for a car.

Together, these save time, money, energy, and lives - while offering an easier,
healthier, low-stress lifestyle.  More