CMT & Metro’s partnership on the three Urban Land Institute Technical Assistance Panels (TAPs) were the topic of discussion today at the American Planning Association St. Louis Chapter’s regular meeting. As we prepared information for the presentation, it came to my attention that the bold ideas that have been generated for each of the three stations – Belleville, UMSL South and Grand – have generated some significant results for CMT, Metro and the region.
Over the last two years, CMT has agressively promoted the opportunities around light rail for development. When the TAPs were initiated, the goal was to do something more than just discuss TOD. The return on our investment has been much more than we anticipated:
- An official RFP for development at Belleville Station has been created that meets the criteria of Metro, the St. Clair County Transit District and the Federal Transit Administration. Metro now has a tool for the Belleville station and a template for other stations for development.
- The University of Missouri – St. Louis and the stakeholders in the community surrounding the UMSL South Station have successfully created a 353 around the UMSL South Station with UMSl as the master developer – one of the major recommendations of the TAP for this station. This development received final approval just yesterday (Feb. 19, 2013).
- In addition, Epworth Homes has purchased a site within walking distance of the UMSl South Station as a direct result of UMSL South TAP
- CMT has secured a new grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health to create form based overlay zoing around the Grand Station and Rock Road Station following the ULI GRAND TAP. The official process is underway with Development Strategies.
- Finally, CMT has secured funding for a 4th TAP at the possible site of new station at Cortex. This TAP which is scheduled for June piggybacks off CMT’s work to do a feasibility study at the site for the possible station.
In addition the reports generated by the ULI TAPs at each of the stations has created the opportunity for CMT, Metro, stakeholders and the communities around the stations to think outside the box with regards to options for moving development forward around light rail. While we wait to see if the “Plank Street Station” comes to fruition at UMSL South, or the vision for a platform development along Grand Ave. occurs, we now have new bold ideas, possible visions for the future and new tools to move development forward in the region around light rail – definitely worth our time and money!
These results would not be possible without our partnership with Metro. I think one of the most significant benefits of the TAPs are the ability of the panel to think outside the box – with that, I that Gwen is going to show you some of the bold ideas generate during our last TAP for the Grand Station.