Transit Stations and Commercial Property Values: A Case Study with Policy and Land-Use Implications

Journal of Public Transportation Article in Volume 2, Issue 3 (1999) by Arthur C Nelson, City Planning Program, Georgia Institute of Technology          

Abstract

 

There is little research about the association between rail transit station proximity and commercial property values. There is even less research on the role of public policy in influencing commercial property markets near transit stations without resorting to supply-side constraints. The research reported in this article helps close these gaps in research.

 

This article develops a theory on commercial property value with respect to both transit station proximity and the role of policies that encourage commercial development around transit stations without discouraging commercial development elsewhere. The theory is applied to the universe of commercial property sales in the area of Atlanta known as “Midtown,” which is located about 1 kilometer north of the downtown edge. Midtown is served by three heavy rail transit stations operated by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). To encourage development around MARTA stations, Atlanta waives parking and floor area ratio requirements in Special Public Interest Districts (SPIDs) located around rail stations. Research shows that commercial property values are influenced positively by both access to rail stations and policies that encourage more intensive development around those stations. This article explores both theoretical and policy implications.