NoMA Gallaudet University Infill Station development

Project Context

Authority: Washington Metropolitan Area transit authority
Area: District of Columbia, Washington D.C., USA
Project: Area redevelopment & Infill station development
Mode: Rail (Existing network/New station)
Cost: 103.7 Million USD (2004)
Value Capture: Active part contribution, special taxation district

Overview

The NoMA – Gallaudet University Station was constructed by the Washington Metro Authority as an infill station on their existing Metrorail system. The system was developed in the 1960s–70s and this station is first infill station built since. This station was also the first time WMATA used a mix of public and private funds to contribute to the costs of development 1.

Development of an infill station in this area had often been disregarded due to the area’s historic underdevelopment and high car ownership. This changed in 1998, when consultation was initiated to evaluate station suitability and demand by the community; this cumulated in a station being built, opening in 2004 2.

Impacts of development

The station was a success for reasons including urban regeneration, increasing the local tax base, greater community led decision-making, increasing network ridership and revenues, reducing car ownership, and increasing the value of WMATA assets nearby 3. Prior to the station, the area was well connected by roads, but congestion and a lack of transport alternatives was stymieing development. By improving transport access, the station was able to unlock development potential, with 3 billion dollars of construction occurring since the station was built 4. Land values have also increased 6.8–9.4% over and above regional increase 5.

Value Capture Mechanism

With community support the Washington Metro authority created a special tax assessment district. Owners agreed on an 800m catchment for 30 years to service $25 million in bonds. Further to the contribution of the community, the federal government gave $25 million with a further $53.7 million from the District of Columbia. This ability to utilise private funds enabled the development to go ahead 6.

Lessons learned

Key learnings were from the community engagement processes. Initial feasibility studies were useful in generating buy in from the communities who would later form crucial partners in enabling development to occur. To get political support for the special tax district to go ahead, the authority found that they needed to go beyond consultation alone and have full inclusionary planning 7.

References

  1. Schlickman, S., Snow, J., Smith, J., Zelalem, Y., & Bothen, T. (2015). Transit Value Capture Coordination: Case Studies, Best Practices, and Recommendations. NU Rail & Centre for Urban Transportation. Chicago, Il. United States.
  2. WMATA. (2010). New York Avenue- Florida Avenue- Gallaudet University- Station Access Improvement study Report. Washington D.C.: WMATA.
  3. MacCleery,R., & Tarr, J. (2012). NOMA: The Neighbourhood that transit built. Urban Land Magazine. Washington D.C.: Urban Land Institute.
  4. Parsons Brinckerhoff Consultants. (2011). New York avenue-Florida avenue- Gallaudet university metro station:
    A case study. Washington, D.C
  5. Aecom, Smart Growth America. (2011). WMATA Regional Benefits of Transit, Executive Summary. Washington D.C., United States of America: WMATA.
  6. Mathur, S. (2011). Special Assessment district. In Innovation in public transport finance: Property value capture (p. 98). Burlington, VT: Ash gate.
  7. WMATA. (2010). New York Avenue- Florida Avenue- Gallaudet University- Station Access Improvement study Report. Washington D.C.: WMATA.