Latest News from Seifel Consulting Inc.


Tag » transit oriented development (TOD)

Formerly dominated by underutilized properties and an abandoned freeway, the Transit Center District is now the site of a comprehensive planning and redevelopment effort to create a dense, walkable employment center that will feature housing at all levels of affordability, active retail and abundant public open space. The substantial public infrastructure investment needed to undertake this project is funded through a complex and innovative mix of public and private funding sources. The major rezoning of properties throughout the district, along with its significant amenities, has created substantial value while generating enthusiastic response among the development community. 

 

A concurrent session at the recent ULI Fall Meeting, "Transbay Transit Center District: Transforming Downtown San Francisco through Innovative Public/Private Partnerships" examines the redevelopment challenges overcome during the project and strategies used to create this new “Grand Central of the West” and its adjacent neighborhood. 

 

Discussion leaders included Scott Boule of Transbay Joint Powers Authority, Tiffany Bohee of the San Francisco Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, John Eudy of Essex Property Trust, Mike Grisso of Kilroy Realty Corporation and John Rahaim of the City of San Francisco. Libby Seifel served as moderator of the panel, in addition to her duties as local program co-chair of the ULI Fall Meeting. 

 

A video of the session is available for viewing at ULI's webpage, here


Moderated by Linda Wheaton of California Department of Housing & Community Development and featuring Allison Albericci of Owings & Merrill, LLP, Eve Stewart of Satellite Affordable Housing Associates and Libby Seifel of Seifel Consulting, "Density and Development: Supporting Transit and Livable Communities" examines and illustrates how density and affordable/mixed use housing work together toward livable, transit-supportive and sustainable communities. Part of an educational forum coordinate by the California Department of Transportation (CDOT), the presentation describes the density thresholds and development characteristics necessary to support key amenities and frequent transit service, as well as the critical role affordable housing plays in supporting these objectives.

Planning Horizons is an educational forum coordinated by the CDOT Workforce Development Branch, with speakers selected from both within Caltrans and the greater planning community. More information is on the program is available here


On April 8, Libby spoke to members of Victoria, British Columbia’s chapter of the Urban Development Institute (UDI)on what creates value in real estate. Her presentation, “Leveraging Value to Create Great Places”, explored real-world examples of development happening in our very own city: the Transbay Transit Center District and Mission Bay. Looking at the value premiums created by transit, open space, and other neighborhood amenities, Libby shared with UDI members insight into the costs of development and the value creation of these and similar transit-focused and sustainable communities. 

In spring of last year, UDI members paid a visit to San Francisco to observe some of the exciting projects currently underway in our City. With Seifel staff as their guide, UDI members were able to get a behind-the-scenes look at the Transbay project before heading out to a tour of Mission Bay

UDI is a non-profit association of the development industry in British Columbia, whose members include individuals and organizations involved in all facets of development and land-use planning. UDI is actively involved in government relations, professional development and education, and research. Committed to working with communities and governments to create and achieve balanced, well-planned, and sustainable communities, UDI works to promote efficient urban growth, good planning and good development practices, affordable housing, and high quality commercial and industrial developments. More information on UDI is available here.


While transit-oriented development (TOD) projects are being encouraged throughout the nation, limited financial resources are available to catalyze their development. The Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Fund (TOAH Fund) is an innovative $50 million public-private financing resource that provides up-front funding to catalyze the development of affordable housing, valuable community services, and other neighborhood assets near transit lines throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

The TOAH Fund was created by a collaboration of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), its partner regional planning agency (ABAG), and a dedicated core of nonprofit organizations. MTC has been at the forefront of promoting TOD in the Bay Area, and it provided the initial $10 million in seed capital that serves as the first of five components in the capital stack. According to a Fund Sponsor, “Convening a diversity of players in the affordable housing community and having partners with a high level of trust, competency and a shared understanding of goals and the need to distribute investments regionally was critical in the Fund’s formation.” To date, the Fund has awarded financing to four projects: Eddy and Taylor Family Housing (San Francisco), 5th and Howard (San Francisco), Leigh Avenue Senior Apartments (San Jose), and West Grand Development (Oakland).

The TOAH Fund, with LISC, retained Seifel and ICF International to provide program evaluation and implementation consulting services for the TOAH Fund. Their analysis is available here.

More on the TOAH fund and its mission can be found here.


"We are at an exciting tipping point in the US. More people than ever are walking and bicycling in our communities. Elected leaders and businesses are realizing the value of investing in active transportation. And we’ve seen cities small and large across the country pioneering ideas like Bike Share, bike boulevards, and open streets projects that turn pavement into places for recreation and fun." - Pro Walk/Pro Bike

 Pro Walk/Pro Bike, the leading international conference on walking and bicycling, offers more than 100 program sessions, mobile workshops, and problem-solving workshops bringing together non-auto-centric transportation enthusiasts, including planners, engineers, civic leaders, government officials, public health professionals, architects, and landscape architects.

Held in sunny Long Beach, the 2012 Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference offered attendees the opportunity to network with like-minded enthusiasts, workshops, and sessions to help build coalitions, create planning initiatives and designs, and foster ways to grow the political support and funding needed to catalyze active transportation.

"Long Beach has embraced walking and bicycling as tools to improve its economic vitality, its quality-of-life, and as a way to ensure all residents are connected to a just and equitable transportation system."

- Pro Walk/Pro Bike

At the September 2012 conference, Libby Seifel joined the session "New Challenges, Tools, and Opportunities in Planning for Healthy Transportation” led by Jeremy Nelson (Principal at NelsonNygaard Transportation Consulting Associates). The panel also included Arfaraz Khambatta (Director of Access Consulting at Sally Swanson Architects Inc.), Heath Maddox (Senior Planner, Livable Streets Subdivision at San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency), and Jean Fraser (Chief at San Mateo County Health System).

Using successful case studies and lessons learned from communities of all sizes, the panel explored some of the challenges and opportunities in the development of healthier active transportation systems, prompting discussion on planning, outreach, and funding tools to inform planning enthusiasts of practical techniques to help in the implementation of healthy transportation policies and programs for California communities.

The National Center for Bicycling & Walking, a program of Project for Public Spaces, established the Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference in 1980. More on Pro Walk/Pro Bike and upcoming events can be found here.