July 31, 2007
Development along the Main Street line

Christof looks at development projects along the Main Street rail line since 2004:

As in 2004, I can count lots of proposed projects along the line: the two Midtown projects, more Downtown highrises and renovations, air rights development at Wheeler and the TMC Transit Center, a new midrise condo in the Museum Districtm a major Lovett Homes project at Fannin South designed by Andres Duany, and the redevelopment of the Astroworld site.

It's tempting to argue whether all this new development was due to the rail line or not. Some is; some isn't. But I think that argument is irrelevant. Rail is a way to move more people in limited right of way. It's helping to absorb the additional travel demand caused by more density. And what's happened along Main should dispell any doubts that rail discourages development or lowers property values.

There are two lessons to be learned from Main. The first is that the most likely places for more density are the places that are dense already. Activity feeds on activity. We can't build rail in vacant places and assume it will make them dense. But rail will support more density in places that are already dense. The second is that the growth we've seen along Main has been organic. Of the post-2004 projects I mentioned, only Houston Pavilions has received city assistance. Government has provided infrastructure, but growth has come from market demand.

He's got a map of the activity as well. There's quite a bit there, mostly within the magic 1/4-mile walkability radius from stations. Check it out.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 31, 2007 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles