The Real Deal New York

Does bike share backlash ignore potential for NYC real estate?

May 19, 2013 01:00PM

Amid all the backlash and lawsuits over New York City’s bike-sharing program that is set to debut at month’s end, some proponents say the potential for a jump in real estate values is being missed in the bicycle brouhaha, OnEarth reported.

In London, many of the same complaints and predictions of doom were leveled against the city’s bike-sharing program before it launched in 2010. But Barclays Cycle Hire has defied expectations: 49 percent of users say they began cycling in London because of the system.

While London’s toniest neighborhoods protested the loudest against the bike-sharing stations, they are now home to the some of the most popular stations in the system.

That’s all had a noticeable effect on property values. One London broker says her firm has “been inundated with questions from prospective tenants about the nearest docking station.”

And in Washington, proximity to a Capital BikeShare station is now commonly listed as an amenity in real estate ads.

As New York’s Citi Bike plonks 6,000 bikes and 330 stations on the streets, the dire predictions of mayhem recall a similar moment in the city’s history. A half-century ago, the installation of on-street parking meters brought lawsuits, cries of constitutional violation and fears of widespread vandalism. [OnEarth] –TRD

  • Bikeshare has the capability of making hundreds of sites in NYC accessible to a vast audience, as if you dropped a smallish subway station in front of them.

    That expanded accessibility, in turn, will raise values for property located near bikeshare, even if they’re already connected to the existing transportation network.

    I don’t see why there would be real estate losses once the docks become status quo. Why would historic West Village blocks lose value if they have the same docks that every other neighborhood has? Complaining about one set of docks as an “eyesore” when it’s only replacing three parking spots (and whatever cars were using them) is really missing the forest for the trees. Just like I can’t say that on-street parking is a real attraction or downside to any densely-zoned site.

  • Nestor Delgado

    It will all be offset by the predictable deaths, accidents and property loss when careless bikers are in the mix. They drop like flies when the weather gets warm but now add thousands more and we’ll see how it all adds up.

  • Chris_P_1

    Just like the once “controversial” Times Square plazas that caused a huge increase in real estate values in that area, this too is going to be a big win for real estate values because it will increase the area of the city covered by a form of public transportation, which is the issue most strongly correlated with rising values.

  • Shwetha

    There has been a lot of controversy brewing on this issue off late. While this is a huge move towards a greener environment, recent discussions have brought up issues like bike share stations blocking building entrances on 99 Bank Street. Another incident that took place last night, where an ambulance had to pull over three blocks away from the 80 year old patients apartment, only because the bike stations were lined up all along the building – delaying attending to him by almost an hour. I strongly feel that the city needs to be more careful with the placement of these bike stations, by strategically placing them so as to cause no inconvenience to residents, businesses and car owners alike. Personally I am excited about this program to kick-off, as each of us New Yorker’s can do our bit towards the environment and our own well being too. Here is an interesting article I read about on this issue

  • cc

    Sweatha you idiot, the bikeshare station didn’t stop the ambulance from reaching the building. Because if they bikeshare station wasn’t there, parked cars would have been.