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6 CHAPTER two Literature Review For the synthesis, a review of relevant publications on the Oriented Development, a nonprofit organization associated subject of streetcars and the built environment was con- with Reconnecting America. Entitled Capturing the Value of ducted using the Transportation Research Information Ser- Transit, the publication reviews the concepts associated with vices (TRIS) database as well as general online searches and transit and summarizes the findings of more than 20 analy- references in other synthesis documents. ses of the effect of fixed guideway transit on different land uses around the United States (4). Many of these studies, in One of the key challenges of the available literature turn, identified a range of value premiums associated with regarding the impacts of streetcars on the built environment fixed guideway transit and utilized a variety of techniques is the definitional challenge cited in the Introduction. The to come to this conclusion. The range of findings from the construction of numerous light rail and heavy rail systems wealth of literature indicates that this topic presents chal- across the United States has generated substantial published lenges in distilling conclusions applicable directly to other analysis, especially focused on the "value premium" from locations. Capturing the Value of Transit drew the following land and building rents near transit stations. This literature, conclusions from the reviewed studies (see Table 1). however, does not describe these impacts with respect to a contemporary streetcar system. TABLE 1 range of value premium associated with transit (4) Range of Property Value Premium Value Premium Impacts +32% w/in 100 ft of +2% w/in 200 ft of Single Family station (St Louis A substantial amount of research and analysis has been under- station (San Diego to Residential MetroLink Light taken by policy experts over the past decades to track and Trolley, 1992) Rail, 2004) document the effects of fixed guideway transit systems (e.g., +2% to 18% w/in term includes heavy rail, light rail, and streetcar/trolley) on 2,640 ft of station property values. This topic has commanded so much attention Condominium (San Diego Trolley, because many policymakers believe that fixed guideway tran- 2001) sit systems create a "value premium," meaning an increase in +0% to 4% w/in property values or related economic factors, as a result of the +45% w/in 1,320 ft 2,640 ft of station Apartment to of station (VTA increased access and desirability of the land served by the fixed (San Diego Trolley, Light Rail, 2004) guideway transit. If increased value can be linked to the transit 2001) investments, a portion of this increase has strong potential to +9% w/in 300 ft of +120% w/in 1,320 be "captured" upfront in the transit development process and Office station (Washington to ft of station (VTA converted to a funding source for the transit system. In other Metrorail, 1981) Light Rail, 2004) words, to finance the transit system, local and regional govern- +1% w/in 500 ft of +167% w/in 200 ft ments seek to share in the economic benefits that fixed guide- of station (San Retail station (BART, to way transit is thought to bring to private property owners. Diego Trolley, 1978) 2004) Numerous studies have used statistical models and other From: Capturing Value from Transit (Center for Transit Oriented methods to examine whether premiums exist for real estate Development, November 2008). prices or lease rates near transit stops, particularly for com- Notes: VTA Light Rail is the Santa Clara, California Valley Transportation Authority. muter and light rail systems. However, because of the rela- BART = Bay Area Rapid Transit. tively recent emergence of contemporary streetcar systems, almost no analysis of the value premiums associated specifi- cally with streetcars could be found in the literature. Although this table focuses on those studies that found a premium, the report also describes a study that found A summary of various fixed guideway transit value pre- negative impacts on value associated with fixed guideway mium studies was recently published by the Center for Transit transit. A 1995 study, by Dr. John Landis at the University