Strength of regional economy can drive demand for transit station development

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The Baltimore region can expect high density, mixed use development around many of its current and future transit stations, according to panelists at a GBC-sponsored policy forum held June 30. Regional wealth, job growth and the pace of development are positive indicators for development in low-wealth communities, Sean Closkey, executive vice president of policy and real estate enterprise for Philadelphia-based The Reinvestment Fund, told attendees.

Clarence Snuggs, local office director for Enterprise Community Partners, said some of Enterprise’s work in Baltimore is based on the idea that community development and Transit Oriented Development (TOD) can be mutually supportive policies.

In Baltimore and elsewhere, a new transit line’s ability to attract TOD is viewed as a major benefit by local communities and transit agencies. The Red Line, a proposed 10-mile rapid transit line from Woodlawn to Canton, would pass through a wide range of communities, including some of region’s fastest growing as well as the most economically stagnant.

TOD is, “an approach, not a product,” according to Marty Baker, a planner in the Research and Strategic Planning Division of the Baltimore City Planning Department. Baker said the new city comprehensive master plan emphasizes TOD and will support the development of mixed-use projects within residential zones.

Jennifer Goold with Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse and Shawn Weingast of Best Industries presented plans for new high density TOD projects in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County.

The event, attended by 80 business, government, and neighborhood representatives, was co-sponsored by the Baltimore Transit Alliance and the Baltimore Neighborhood Collaborative/

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