A new Light Rail Transit (LRT) station opening at the edge of the University of Minnesota’s large urban campus represented an opportunity to take advantage of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) for the first time on campus.
Hired to do a market and a public realm connectivity study, we took an integrated approach to TOD. We evaluated planning studies, demographic trends and market data, and engaged stakeholders to get a clear picture of market impact on vacant land, parking, and commercial uses.
Taking a unique view of the area, we looked through the eyes of a market researcher, urban designer, and developer. We identified lots likely to be developed and barriers to investment. We also looked at how this shapes the public realm. We identified that the development potential was much greater than what had been done historically. This coordinated analysis allowed us to define a transitional plan that responds to current needs while being flexible to respond to development changes over time.
The measure of success is the rush of proposed mixed use projects that are in line with the recommendations we made, creating a vibrant, interconnected community that adds to the area’s economic viability.