Voters in a Kansas City, Missouri special district recently approved funding for a $100 million streetcar system in the downtown area. The two-mile streetcar system will run from the River Market to Union Station. Supporters such as Mayor Sly James hope this investment will generate further development along the streetcar corridor and ultimately result in new streetcar lines throughout the metro area.
This type of development and the planning theories behind it are known as Transit-Oriented Development (“TOD”). There are numerous case studies demonstrating what can occur in communities that adopt TOD strategies which are typically aimed at encouraging economic growth and improving the walkability of the community. When successful, these TODs have seen increases in overall density, increased property values, and an increased use of public transit.
For readers of the Midwest Construction Law blog, Kansas City’s first TOD represents $100 million in new construction spending that will begin in 2013. The multiplier effect of this type of construction spending in the community and the additional development that is anticipated to occur along the streetcar line presents a great oppportunity for Kansas City construction companies. Hopefully many of our local contractors will bid and be awarded contracts on this TOD project.