WMATA To Offer Properties for Private Sector Development
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is pleased to announce that in the coming weeks it will be offering several of its properties for private sector development. This will be the first public offering of Metro’s properties since 2006 and is intended to seize upon the strong market conditions and developer interest in property near our stations.
Metro is already a national leader among transit agencies in the field of private sector development on transit properties, what the industry calls “joint development.” Approximately two dozen projects have already been successfully completed and several more are underway. Many of these projects are so well-established and fit so well into the community fabric that they are indistinguishable from their neighbors. These projects achieve Metro’s Momentum Strategic Plan of ensuring financial stability by generating increased ridership and rental income for Metro, and our goal of improving regional mobility and connecting communities. Additionally these projects will support economic development across the region by enhancing the local tax base with private development revenue for local governments and the creation high-quality, transit-oriented built environments.
Completed Metro joint development projects include several downtown office buildings, multifamily residential and office buildings in the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor, the hotel and office Bethesda Metro Center development in Maryland, and residential (often mixed with some retail) developments at the Columbia Heights, Fort Totten, and Rhode Island Avenue-Brentwood Metro Stations in the District of Columbia and at the Huntington Metro Station in Virginia. Other well-known joint development projects currently under construction can be found at the Dunn Loring and Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro Stations in Virginia and the White Flint and Twinbrook Metro Stations in Maryland.
In the coming weeks and months, Metro plans to issue requests for proposals – “joint development solicitations” in our parlance — for the following properties:
- Branch Avenue
- Capitol Heights
- College Park-U of Md
- Fort Totten Metro Station
- Huntington Metro Station
- Navy Yard (Chiller Plant)
- Morgan Boulevard
- West Falls Church
In addition, we may issue a separate request for proposals for the East Falls Church Metro Station in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Transportation.
These properties will be rolled out in at least two separate joint development solicitations. The first solicitation should be issued late in November 2013 and a second solicitation should be issued in December 2013 or January 2014. Each solicitation will offer a number of opportunities from the list above. The solicitations will be posted on our website, www.wmata.com/realestate, and we will attempt to publicize them through real estate organizations and trade publications.
Metro will be looking for quality developments with a focus on placemaking and creation of safe, walkable and attractive communities that are synergistic with our transit service. To enhance these desired outcomes, our solicitations will be innovative in that we will provide, in addition to the usual site demographic information, sample site plans and test fits illustrating the development potential of each site while accommodating continued transit use. It is our hope that this additional level of analysis will reduce the time and cost of responding for the private sector while improving the quality of the proposals.
Metro’s own joint development team is almost entirely all-new, has extensive private sector real estate background, and is eagerly looking forward to offering these sites. We also look forward to working with the private sector to create high-quality and successful developments. We encourage the development community to keep an eye out for our solicitations and to respond to them.