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TOD Studies and Projects

Current TOD studies

Land Value Tax Report - 2021

A bill (HF 338) under consideration by the Minnesota Legislature would permit Minnesota cities to establish land value tax districts. The bill would allow cities to shift property taxes from improvements (buildings) to land while maintaining tax revenue from the subject district. This white paper summarizes the anticipated impacts of a land value tax and examines local case studies utilizing sample districts in transit served areas in Minneapolis, Hopkins, Brooklyn Center, Coon Rapids, Maplewood, Woodbury, Cottage Grove and Cedar Grove.

In each of these case studies, the land value tax was implemented using the methodology proposed by the Minnesota legislature. We made the following observations from these case studies:

  1. A land value tax would incentivize a more productive use of vacant and under-developed parcels.
    1. Taxes increase most on underutilized parcels.
    2. Taxes decrease most on parcels with a high ratio of building value to total value (total value = land value + building value).
  2.  A land value tax encourages a more efficient use of public infrastructure investments.
    1. Land value is highest near high quality public infrastructure and amenities.
  3. The land value tax could improve equity.
    1. In Case Study #1, property taxes generally decrease in areas of concentrated poverty.
    2. The land value tax paired with the Minneapolis affordable housing policy could have the effect of encouraging the development of new affordable housing.

> View the full report

Development Trends Along Transit - 2020

The success of a region depends in part on the quality of its connections. Together, robust high frequency transit and Transit Oriented Development efficiently tie housing, jobs, shopping, and more. Recognizing this, the TOD office studied the patterns of permitted and planned developments in the Twin Cities, with a focus on those developments along high frequency transit.

The 2020 update includes developments from 2019, and as such does not address the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.

This report reveals that $13.8 billion in development has been permitted along high frequency transit between 2003 and 2019, including:

  • 43% of the region’s multifamily development by permit value
    • 34,200 multifamily units – 60% of these units are near LRT, 23% are near BRT, and 30% are served by high frequency local bus routes
  • 39% of the region’s commercial development
  • 29% of the region’s public and institutional development
  • 7% of the region’s industrial development

A further $8.9 billion in development is planned along high frequency transit, representing 68% of the currently planned development for the region. This new development will add another 35,000 multifamily units, more than doubling the number of residences with immediate access to high frequency transit.

> View the full report

Sidewalk Network Data Pilot Project - 2019

When evaluating pedestrian networks, many analyses fall back on using street centerline data and generalized Euclidean buffers, which often contributes to an inaccurate picture of the pedestrian experience. In everyday life, pedestrian networks and “walksheds” are shaped by sidewalk network connectivity, intersection timing and more.

This report from the TOD Office explores an alternative to Euclidian buffers based on walking time – using ArcMap Network Analyst Extension and the manual creation of a unique network dataset, TOD staff evaluate the resources necessary to create a valid walkshed analysis and the accuracy of ArcMap’s existing software. Based on this work, the TOD Office is recommending further exploration of this methodology and collaboration by relevant public agencies in order to support ADA compliance, transit planning and regional equity.

> View the full report

Minneapolis Residential Development Trends 2014-2018

The minimum parking requirement for new multifamily residential development in the city of Minneapolis is one space per unit. In 2015, the City created transit parking incentives by amending its zoning code to reduce parking minimums for new multifamily residential developments in transit-rich areas. These new transit parking incentives join existing areas of reduced parking minimums in downtown Minneapolis and surrounding the University of Minnesota.

This report explores the development impact of reduced parking minimums within these transit-rich areas by analyzing City Planning Commission staff reports for multifamily residential developments of 10 or more units.

For developments near transit with midday headways of 15 minutes or better, the average space dedicated to parking decreased at a rate of 0.138 spaces per unit per year from 2014-2018. Thus, where developments are placed near frequent transit, the market appears to be supporting decreased parking ratios. This supports the reduction of parking minimums within transit rich urban areas.

> View the full report

Current Development Projects

Development Opportunities on Metropolitan Council Land

The TOD Office completed a development site prioritization process on all properties owned by the Metropolitan Council located within a half-mile of transitways. Top priority sites were identified by applying the four Metropolitan Council TOD Policy Goals and by coordinating with cities and counties along the transitways. Click here for a downloadable map of these sites. The TOD Office also welcomes developer inquiries on any sites owned by the Metropolitan Council.

MN United MLS Stadium and surrounding mixed-use development

Construction is complete on the new Major League Soccer stadium on land owned by Metro Transit at 400 Snelling Avenue North in St. Paul. Metro Transit made the site available for the stadium through a long-term ground lease to the City of St. Paul. Work is underway to facilitate additional development surrounding the stadium, all of which will be served by the METRO Green Line, A Line rapid bus and local bus service.

More information is available on the City of St. Paul website.

METRO Blue Line and METRO Green Line extension projects

The TOD and Land Use staff at the METRO Blue Line and METRO Green Line extension project offices connect the design, engineering and construction efforts of the LRT alignment with each city and county’s planning, budget and policy development within the half-mile station areas. This collaborative, ongoing work fosters TOD along the project alignments and ensures that TOD projects will meet city land use approvals and be a financial success. It also increases ridership and revenues for the transit agency and fiscal and social benefits for the city and county.

More information on these projects can be found here:

Metropolitan Council METRO Green Line Extension (Southwest LRT)

> Hennepin County Southwest LRT Community Works

> Metropolitan Council – METRO Blue Line Extension (Bottineau)

> Hennepin County Bottineau LRT Community Works