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The Outsized Benefits of Transforming Parking Lots to TOD

Chicago's sale of three city-owned parking lots demonstrates how selling underused land for the purposes of transit-oriented development can benefit people and government.
September 23, 2015, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Yonah Freemark follows up on an announcement earlier this month that the city of Chicago would sell four city-owned parking lots in River North, located adjacent to a transit station on the Purple and Brown lines. Freemark's post explains the benefits of selling such parcels, both for the good of this year's budget, by "bringing in $12.4 million from three separate buyers—far more than the $7 million appraisal," according to Freemark, as well as long term tax revenues.

"In the longer term, the properties are likely to be developed. With new construction on these lots, significantly more benefits will accrue. The Metropolitan Planning Council’s new Grow Chicago Calculator projects that, if the four parcels are developed to the degree allowed under the local zoning code, they will bring in an additional $358,000 in local property taxes. Current zoning allows about 135 new housing units and 153,000 square feet of development on these sites in total," according to Freemark.

In addition to listing a few more benefits that should arise from the development of the parcels, Freemark also presents a table to illustrate the points made in the article. 

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Published on Monday, September 21, 2015 in Metropolitan Planning Council - The Connector
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