More than 50 CMT members, friends and interested parties attended a briefing this morning on Citizens for Modern Transit’s Urban Land Institute Technical Assistance Panel’s (TAP) report to the Community on CORTEX. CMT commissioned the study as a part of its works on Transit Oriented Development (TOD) education and advocacy as well as to build off the work on a feasibility study for a possible MetroLink Station at CORTEX.
CMT charged the TAP with answering three specific questions:
- What specific station location would maximize the potential benefits for the Cortex development as a whole and best serve residents in the surrounding neighborhoods?
- There are four sites identified for a potential parking garage in the Cortex district. If a MetroLink Station is added to the current system between Boyle and Sarah in Midtown St. Louis, what are the pros and cons of each potential garage site from a TOD perspective? How can specific site design and tenant mix enhance the opportunities?
- What incentives could be utilized to bring in even further development at the site?
The TAP, composed of ULI members in related fields to the question, included:
Laura Radcliff, Stifel Nicolaus & Company, Inc.
- Natasha Das
- Colleen McNitt Ruiz, Lathrop & Gage LLP
- Brian O’Connell, Hilliker Corporation
- Glenn Powers, St. Louis County Planning
- Brian Pratt, GreenStreet Development Group LLC
The panel felt that the best location for a station at the development would be pushed as close to Boyle as possible along the MetroLink alignment. It would open the Cortex Commons as a front door to the District and would provide good connections to any of the parking sites suggested. There is also the opportunity to link in with Great Rivers Greenway trail for bikes and pedestrians.
With regards to parking, the panel suggested a comprehensive parking study to look at the possible locations, impacts of a new MetroLink station and possible Bus transfer system on parking demand, as well as possible new uses for roof of parking structure i.e. garden, restaurant, retail.
Finally the committee looked at possible incentives to draw in development as well as visitors to the District. New market tax credits, TDD’s, transit pass incentive packages, and more were all discussed as possible creative financing/funding mechanism for capital and operating.
The presenation also included other ‘amenities’ to draw people into the District including district wide wifi, Enterprise Carshare vehicles, electric charging stations, and more.
One of CMT’s main objectives is to promote the opportunities for development around our public transit infrastructure. For every one dollar invested in transit – there is a $4 return for the region. Today is one more example of a public/private partnership to bring together transit and development in STL.
The Complete presentation is available online. The report will be available within a month.
Over the last year and a half, CMT has aggressively promoted the opportunities around light rail while at the same time actually taking steps to move the process forward:
- Hosted Walkabouts which were convenings of stakeholders in the area to discuss their visions – Rock Road, Wellston, North Hanley,
- Created a policy booklet on the 10 Strategies for growth around light Rail in a slow growth market for elected officials, city managers, community activists and others
- Created a TOD Website that houses a database of all development within a half mile radius of MetroLink since it has opened. To date, catalogued more than $16 billion in development and this number continues to change daily.
- Commissioned three Urban Land Institute Technical Assistance Panels around three stations with this one being our fourth station. The goal with the TAPS was to do something more than just discuss TOD; and
- A new grant from Missouri Foundation for Health to create Form Based zoning around two stations – Grand and Rock Road.