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Transit Oriented Development Shifts Into High Gear Near BART Stations in the Bay Area

Transportation and land use are being considered together at a new scale in the Bay Area, as transit oriented development pops up next to BART stations all over the region.
July 21, 2019, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Public Transit Ridership
Sheila Fitzgerald

John King surveys the San Francisco Bay Area for examples of the transit-oriented building spree taking place near BART stations, like at MacArthur Station in Oakland:

A seven-story building with lime-green accents covers land that five years ago held parking lots. It’s part of a 385-unit apartment complex being marketed as “sleek and modern with a retro vibe ... perfect for your life on the go.” A few yards away, workers have nearly completed the concrete frame for a 24-story apartment tower that will open next spring.

In a feature story filed under "Bay Area Housing Crisis," King reports that projects have opened recently at seven East Bay BART stations, and projects at three more that could break ground soon. "Cities across the system are putting plans in place to allow bigger buildings near BART," writes King.

"Long touted by boosters as pedestrian-friendly 'transit villages,' such projects on BART-owned land are gaining traction as never before. The change is fueled by factors including the region’s incessant housing demand and a new state law that loosens development restrictions on BART property."

The idea of adding large buildings and large amounts of housing units to BART-adjacent properties has been occasionally controversial, but the recent development activity acts on planning goals set as long ago as 1972, and formalized by a formalized planning policy in 2005.

"The current policy, adopted in 2016, seeks to add up to 18,000 units by 2040, filling 250 acres at 27 stations," according to King. "It also sets a goal that 35% of these units should be reserved for below-market housing."

There is a lot more to see and consider in this big feature, with infographics, images, and soundbites that match the scale of the endeavor underway in the Bay Area.

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, July 18, 2019 in San Francisco Chronicle
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