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28 for operations. This is probably typical for many transit agen- Developers will often come to the table with an off-the-shelf cies and points to a major problem for serving new develop- design. Large retail chains prefer a standard building and site ments. Even in those cases where new service is warranted, design that they propose for all new sites. This has advantages there may not be funds to support it. This situation makes it for the retailer and is cheaper than designing each development difficult to negotiate with developers for facilities that are from scratch. This approach, however, is not transit-friendly needed to accommodate transit at the site, but where there is because it typically is designed for access by automobile only no guarantee that service will be available. Developers are not and does not include consideration of alternative travel modes. likely to build a transit element in their development unless the transit agency agrees to serve the development. Most developments, whether they are commercial, indus- trial, or residential, are planned without considering transit as A challenge for large TOD projects is that some lenders are an access mode. After designing the first development as reluctant to finance new types of projects (Cervero and Seskin autocentric, subsequent developments are proposed in the 1995). Lenders prefer to back a sure thing; proven models that same mold. This is a difficult habit to break, and developers have a history of generating sufficient revenue to make a profit. must be convinced to break the cycle. It is up to local com- TOD projects, especially in the suburbs, are not typical devel- munities to negotiate for a site design that is more in line with opment projects and therefore carry greater risk. Lenders are their goals. This is happening in some communities, espe- risk-averse and unless they have prior experience with similar cially for big box developments that have begun to move into developments, they are not likely to finance the project. urban environments from the traditional suburban areas. Lenders are also predisposed to developments providing up to For example, in New York, Home Depot has constructed a two parking spaces per unit, in large part because current mar- three-story store in Manhattan and Target a two-story store ket studies indicate that this is the preferred level. Lenders who in Brooklyn. The proposed Midtown Square development in rely on those studies will not finance developments that incor- Charlotte, North Carolina, will feature a Target store on top porate fewer spaces per unit. Developing Around Transit: of a Home Depot Expo. It is gratifying that some areas have Strategies and Solutions That Work (Dunphy et al. 2004), notes had success in breaking the big-box mold; however, more that the number of lenders that have experience with TOD proj- needs to be done, because autocentric developments are still ects is increasing. However, projects are more likely to obtain the mainstream designs. financing if some local financial support is provided. This fund- ing support communicates to the lender that transit has value to The normal developer process begins some time before the community and that the community perceives benefits asso- the public sector is aware that a new development is being ciated with the incorporation of transit into the development. considered. Given the standard development process, it is usually too late for collaboration with transit agencies STAKEHOLDER CHALLENGES (Cervero et al. 2002). Once major components of the devel- opment are planned, it may be too difficult and costly to Transit agencies have a vested interest in expanding the mar- accommodate transit within the site. It is also difficult to ket for transit, and the integration of transit with new devel- mesh the varying time lines between the local government, opments is an opportunity to do that. Other stakeholders, developer, and transit agency. For the developer, acquiring such as developers, the community, or even the local munic- approvals from local governments and transit agencies can ipality, may not have the same interests. take an inordinate amount of time and money. This may dis- suade many developers from formulating developments that Except in urbanized central cities, transit represents a very require a lengthy approval process. small percentage of travel within the United States. It is therefore not surprising that most developers do not consider Communities can often be an obstacle to new develop- transit when designing their developments. Many developers ments for a variety of reasons. Communities have opposed are unfamiliar with transit and do not understand transit's transit expansions because of a poor perception of transit and potential benefit; therefore, the incorporation of transit early its customers. A mixed-use development proposal with good in the development process is very difficult. potential for increasing transit ridership may be opposed by the surrounding community for a variety of reasons. The Once transit appears on the "radar screen," it still faces an community may fear increased traffic congestion or insuffi- uphill battle. In new developments transit interests are in com- cient municipal resources to support the increased popula- petition with a host of other interests. During the develop- tion. In lower-income neighborhoods the community may be ment's feasibility and design phases, transit competes for fearful of property values rising too high and eventually scarce resources with a variety of other land uses. For transit pushing them out of the neighborhood. In higher-income to be considered in the competition it must first become known neighborhoods the community may expect property values to to the developer either through direct contact or as part of a fall, perhaps owing to the provision of more bus service to required planning process. Then transit must make the case the area. Whatever the reason, experience has shown that that space within the development and the expense associated early public involvement and education is key to a smoother with building a transit facility is appropriate and cost-effective. development process.