Why are Streetcars coming to 22 Cities in the Next 2 Years?
Join the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) on June 12, 2012 from 7:30 – 9:00 AM at the Clarion Hotel, 1230 Congress Street, Portland, ME to learn about the possibilities of streetcars coming to a town or city near you.
Buffet Breakfast: 7:30 – 8:00 AM
Program: 8:00- 9:00 AM
About the Event: Not even sixty years ago Maine had nearly 500 miles of track serving clean electric streetcars or “trolleys”, not only in Maine’s cities, but connecting to small towns and even villages. Streetcars drove early suburban growth, creating “streetcar suburbs” where people could live outside of downtown and commute traffic-free. Now because of their proven economic development generating capabilities, streetcar systems are being built across North America in small and large communities alike, with 22 projects under construction or planned in the next two years alone. Why? Because transit-oriented development (TOD) –compact, mixed-use development near transit facilities and high-quality walking environments–is the fastest growing development form and is best served by high-quality transit like streetcars. The demand for such development currently exceeds supply, and will increase as Maine’s aging population will be second only to Florida with the highest percentage of citizens over 65 by 2030.
Streetcar development results in measurable positive real estate growth, increases property values along the corridors they serve, and generates new annual property tax revenues which can be used for creative financing. Streetcar based economic development is a strategy for Maine’s communities to maintain their high quality of place, and accommodate residents and visitors, young and old, while reducing traffic in our most vibrant and livable marketplaces. Public-private partnerships and other innovative financing are making it possible. Within the past year, federal funding for streetcars has shifted from buses to streetcars, as their economic growth capabilities are realizing new development with transportation benefits. In Providence R.I., a new streetcar line’s return-on-investment (ROI) projected benefits include 3.6 million square feet of new development, and 6,000 jobs over the next 20-years.
Carl Eppich, AICP, is Transportation Planner with the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System (PACTS), the metropolitan planning organization for Greater Portland.
Dan Hodge, Principal Economist with HDR Decision Economics in Boston, has 18 years of experience in regional economic development, benefit-cost analysis, and public finance. Mr. Hodge was the lead economist evaluating a proposed streetcar project in Providence, RI where he applied an innovative land use development modeling approach to estimate likely economic development impacts, property value increases, and value capture opportunities by neighborhood.
Registering for this Event:
Members: $40 pp | Non-Members: $50 pp -After June 8th, prices increase by $10 pp
REFUND POLICY: Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after June 8, 2012.
For more information and to register, please visit www.mereda.org.