Transit Oriented Development Institute
Washington, DC

Last week's call for more walkable communities from the Surgeon General has already sparked a discussion across America about how we build communities that either prevent or encourage walkability.

Transit Oriented Development is at the heart of walkable communities by bringing together the different uses in a compact, walkable environment - encouraging walking as part of daily life.

The Surgeon General's new focus points out how large the need is across America for more walkable communities in hundreds of cities. This large need spells huge opportunities for developers and communities across the country to help fill the need for compact, walkable communities while transforming their regions for the better.

Get up to speed on the best practices of TOD development, design, and financing at next month's
Transit Oriented Development and Urban Real Estate Conference in Washington DC, the national leader in TOD.

Big names in development, finance, planning, architecture, urban design, and place management are coming together to network and share best practices, development stories, and strategies for success. There's still time to sponsor and exhibit your services during the conference.

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. 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. Register today and be part of the excitement! The early discount ends tomorrow, so don't wait.  More info
 Transit Oriented Development Conference
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Learn Placemaking at TOD Conference
Learn the secrets of great placemaking

Learn the secrets of creating great places from those who delivered them. Learn how to create the next hot district at the TOD Conference!

Sponsor the event!

Sponsor the event!

Showcase your firm and its unique services to business and planning leaders at the Transit Oriented Development Conference next month in DC!   
Exhibit your firm!
Highlighted Speakers
The TOD Institute is proud to welcome so many business leaders...     
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).
Kurt Roeloffs - Protean Capital
Kurt Roeloffs
Kurt Roeloffs is founder of Protean Capital, an investment firm focused on providing capital to young companies with the right people, ideas and projects for transforming the built environment. Mr. Roeloffs founded the company in 2013 after decades of experience in commercial real estate development, investment banking, investment management and private equity.

Before establishing Protean, Kurt spent 23 years of his career with Deutsche Bank. He served as its Global Chief Investment Officer (2009 - 2012) and its Chief Executive Officer for the Asia Pacific Region (1999 - 2009) during which time he was stationed in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore. Previously, he was the Founder & Managing Director of Bankers Trust's Real Estate Investment Banking Group in Hong Kong. He began his career in real estate at the Trammell Crow Company. Kurt received his BA from Columbia University and his MBA from The Wharton School.
Evan Goldman - Federal Realty
Evan Goldman
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.
Mitch Bonanno - Vornado/Charles E. Smith
Mitch Bonanno, Vornado
Mitch Bonanno is Senior Vice President and Director of Development with Vornado/Charles E. Smith. He is a real estate veteran with over 20 years of experience in the industry. Mr. Bonanno leads the Washington, DC development team for Vornado and is responsible for new development, major asset repositioning, and creative place-making for asset groupings. Mr. Bonanno also participates in strategic acquisitions involving value-added development and portfolio repositioning.

As an Arlington County Board-appointed member of the Crystal City Planning Taskforce, Mr. Bonanno led Vornado's efforts to establish a new vision for Crystal City, and worked with County and Community partners to develop and enact the 2010 Crystal City Sector Plan and Crystal City-CO zoning ordinance. Prior to joining Vornado/Charles E. Smith, Mr. Bonanno served as Development Executive for Clark Real Estate Advisors, an investment and development consulting firm. Mr. Bonanno holds a Master of Science in Real Estate from Johns Hopkins University and Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in civil engineering from the University of Maryland College Park.
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.
Bill Alsup - Hines
Bill Alsup, Hines
Bill Alsup is Senior Managing Director at Hines. Since coming to Hines in 1979, he has been responsible for more than 6.7 million square feet of commercial real estate. He had the overall responsibility for development, acquisition, leasing and property management activities in the Washington, D.C., area and the East Region of the United States.

Additionally, Mr. Alsup was the project officer and senior project officer during development of Washington-area projects such as Columbia Square, Franklin Square, Postal Square, 600 Thirteenth Street, Gannett/USA Today Headquarters, Mitretek Systems Headquarters and 4100 North Fairfax. After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia, in 1968, Mr. Alsup attended the University of North Carolina where he was awarded a Master of Business Administration in 1973.
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.
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.
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.
Shyam Kannan - WMATA
Shyam Kannan, WMATA
Mr. Kannan brings extensive planning and transit oriented development experience in the public
and private sectors to WMATA (Metro). At Metro he directs the Authority's strategic planning efforts, called Momentum, as well as supervises long-range planning, sustainability, and smart growth. He has a particular interest in the economic benefits
of transit as well as coordinating closely with the business community in the region.

Active in the region's planning community; Mr. Kannan is a committee member of the Urban Land Institute, the Region Forward Coalition of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, and is an adjunct Faculty Member of Georgetown University. Mr. Kannan has a Master's Degree in Public Policy and Urban Planning from Harvard University, and is also a graduate of the University of Virginia.

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Conference Project Highlights
Bethesda Row

City Center Opens in DC!

Pike and Rose

Pike and Rose, strip center to urbanism!

Hudson Yards $20 Billion TOD Gets Rail
Hudson Yards - $20 Billion TOD

Years in the making, and the very thing that enabled the massive $20 Billion TOD, Hudson Yards gets its first subway stop this Sunday in New York City.

New York City's first new subway station in 25 years is finally on track to open Sunday. The first trip will take place nearly two years after former Mayor Michael Bloomberg - whose administration funded the $2.4 billion project - took an unofficial ride to the station still under construction.
Hudson Yards new subway station opens Sunday

There is excitement about a new life line to the far west side, a desolate piece of Manhattan that is being transformed amid a construction boom. "Once the No. 7 (extension) was announced, that really accelerated development," said Mitchell Moss, director of the New York University Rudin Center for Transportation. "The secret to creating housing is to build mass transit."

The 1.5-mile extension of the 7 train from its current last stop at Times Square will bring a direct transit link to the Jacob Javits Center and the High Line. Businesses and restaurants have opened, and apartment buildings have cropped up in the burgeoning neighborhood. New Yorkers heading west in Midtown have had to hoof it across long avenues from Eighth Ave. train stations. The new 34th St. stop is expected to handle 35,000 riders at its peak hour, according to the MTA.  Story

Atlanta Advances TOD Planning
TOD advances in Atlanta

MARTA and the Atlanta Beltline have been chosen to receive federal grants to help spur denser development around future transit lines, the Federal Transit Administration announced Tuesday. MARTA was awarded $1.6 million, while the Beltline received $500,000 as part of a pilot program of the FTA to encourage transit oriented development and infill in under utilized areas.

The money must be used to plan and promote future development of businesses and homes along proposed transit lines - the kind of development that will attract built-in customers for those transit lines one day. (Think high-rise office buildings, condos and apartment towers.)

Transit-oriented development or "transit supportive development" is helpful in obtaining future FTA grants, because it demonstrates that the new trains or streetcars would be able to draw riders, said Janide Sidifall, a senior project manager for MARTA.  Story

Here all about Atlanta and the Beltline at our upcoming TOD Conference. Atlanta Beltline's CEO Paul Morris will be speaking at the event!  More

TOD Development Partners Selected
MARTA signing TOD deals at 2 stations

Also in Atlanta... recently, the MARTA Board of Directors announced they have approved the development partners for Transit Oriented Developments (TOD) at the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe and Chamblee rail stations.

MARTA will now enter into negotiations with Brookhaven City Center Partners, a joint venture with Integral Group and Transwestern Development Co., who will develop the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe station area and Trackside Partners', a joint venture of Pattillo Industrial Real Estate and Parkside Partners LLC, who will handle the Chamblee project.

"Our TOD partners have significant industry expertise and are committed to developing high-quality projects that enhance these communities," said MARTA GM/CEO Keith T. Parker.

Phase One construction on the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe TOD is scheduled to commence Summer 2017; the Chamblee TOD is slated to break ground in Summer 2016.  More

Car Cities Learning to Love Light Rail
While other cities have struggled to finance their existing transit, Sun Belt cities like Phoenix have embraced light rail as a way to transform urban life.
Phoenix light rail changing the city!

The centerpiece of Greg Stanton's re-election campaign is a tax increase. The Phoenix mayor not only wants his city's voters to approve a 35-year sales tax hike later this month, but he wants them to do it on the same ballot that has him running for a second term.

Stanton believes voters will support both him and his tax policy because, in doing so, they will be casting a vote for transportation. The mayor argues that an improved regional transportation network -- and specifically a bigger light rail system -- are the key to his own political fortunes and to the economic well-being of the region as a whole.

Stanton was not yet mayor in 2008 when light rail made its debut in Phoenix. Today passengers take nearly 44,000 trips on light rail on a typical weekday, already beating the local transit agency's estimates for ridership in 2020. Long-neglected neighborhoods are experiencing new life, and major employers credit transit for their decision to add new jobs in the region. Light rail in Phoenix was always a machine to transform urban life. Advocates in Phoenix, like those in many other cities, claimed light rail would introduce a whole new type of development, one that would appeal to both working millennials and retired snowbirds.

Less developed neighborhoods would morph into walkable communities. Residents who live along transit corridors would be able to hop on a train to see a show, catch a game, head to class or get to work. The transit system would attract new residents, new businesses and new jobs, making the region competitive for years to come. Seven years later, Stanton argues that the strategy has worked so well that it should be rolled out to many more neighborhoods.  More
Dallas - Most Ambitious Rail Planning
Dallas advances rail and TOD

Dallas has become a bold leader in multi-level rail planning, creating huge TOD opportunities for the entire region, even spreading to Houston.

Central Dallas is already the hub of North America's longest light-rail system, and plans are under way for DART rail's second route through downtown. An offshoot of that new loop would anticipate the real game-changer for Dallas (as well as Texas): proposed bullet-train service to Houston. DART's plan is to make sure that incoming passengers can step off a 200-mph train and have easy access to the local rail network.

Add one other thing to the rail mix: a proposed new streetcar extension that would link the McKinney Avenue Trolley line to the Oak Cliff-Union Station streetcar route that began in April.
Dallas advancing rail planning

It's safe to say that there's no other city in the U.S. now working on such an ambitious rail blueprint. Countless things still need to happen for it to become reality. But betting against the high-speed rail venture is betting against serious Texas money and knowhow.

Recent investors who provided a $75 million infusion of cash include former Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane Jr., whose name is on Baylor University's new football stadium, and Dallas' Jack Matthews, who developed the city's convention center hotel and major developments on South Lamar Street. Matthews sits on the board of Texas Central Partners, the bullet-train company, and controls land on the southern edge of downtown where the Dallas bullet-train station is contemplated.  Story | Dallas TOD

Corporations are moving downtown, where the people want to be!

"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