Real estate owners should pay for transit project costs, MTA officials say

Urban planners call the model "value capture"

Dec.December 15, 2017 02:10 PM

From left: Carl Weisbrod, Scott Rechler and Grand Central Terminal

“I know from my standpoint as a real estate owner, when public transportation is built in front of my buildings, my buildings are worth more, and I should pay more of a proportion of that cost.”

That’s what RXR Realty’s Scott Rechler had to say this week regarding a proposal from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to source more funding of transit projects from real estate, the New York Times reported.

Price tags for proposed transit updates are growing, such as the now projected sum of $10.8 billion for East Side Access project at Grand Central Terminal. Meanwhile, real estate kings see tons of upside from increased transit services, while straphangers pay increasing ticket prices. That’s pushed officials such as Rechler, who is a MTA board member, to look at “value capture” proposals—that is, to take some of the profit earned by real estate that’s benefited from new transit and put that towards costs of new transit projects.

“All future projects will take that into account,” said MTA board member Carl Weisbrod at a Wednesday meeting. [NYT]Will Parker 

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