Guide to Joint Development for Public Transportation Agencies

Joint development is a value capture tool used by public transportation providers through public-private partnerships to generate revenues or achieve other development-related objectives. Joint development revenue can supplement other resources available through transit-related development of public real estate assets in the broader context of Transit Oriented Development (TOD). Many transit agencies around the country are taking a more active role in fostering TOD around their transit stations by expanding their joint development programs, while an increasing number of transit agencies of varying types have started TOD programs with specific intent to include and enhance joint development opportunities. Joint development projects encompass coordinated development of office, retail, and/or residential real estate, often in higher-density, mixed-use formats. For joint development to be possible, the transit agency, the municipality, or some other entity supporting the transit agency's capital or operating program owns a portion of the real estate on which the development will occur and can make those resources available to facilitate development through sale or lease. While transit agencies use various sources of federal, state, and local funding in their joint development programs, many use Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant programs to acquire property and/or develop their transit-related real estate assets. In December 2016, FTA updated its joint development guidance, previously issued in 2014, and published Circular, FTA-C7050.1A Federal Transit Administration Guidance on Joint Development. This Circular provides guidance to FTA grant recipients on how to use FTA funds or FTA-funded real property for joint development. Since publishing its updated guidance, FTA has approved multiple joint development projects. With growth in the use of joint development programs, agencies in addition to FTA have updated joint development guidance and expectations, increasing their focus on value capture and related project outcomes. Based on this experience and an understanding of the complex issues involved in dealing with a wide range of joint development projects, transit agencies have increased their efforts to share best practices while recognizing a growing need for a comprehensive guide to document, expand, and improve delivery of joint development projects. The development of real estate is a sophisticated and highly developed business process; however, it is rarely a core skill of transit agencies. Transit agencies may have real estate departments that manage and dispose of a variety of properties but not usually the development of real estate for non-transit uses, with the exception of operating retail facilities, which are often outsourced. As a result, there is a growing need to provide up-to-date research on how transit agencies and partners can engage in joint development to their best advantage, complementing and drawing on other resources, including in-house real estate staff, city staff, and /or outside consultants. The objective of this study is to produce a guide that facilitates and enhances the successful delivery of joint development projects. This guide may take a variety of formats but should include requirements, procedures, and tools and techniques for transit agencies that want to pursue or improve their joint development programs. The guide should serve agencies with a range of experience related to land use planning issues and/or in executing complex real estate transactions. At a minimum, the guide should include the following: (1) A primer on joint development and its overall compatibility with and relationship to TOD as well as broader aspects of community planning; (2) An overview of the joint development process, including but not limited to the following components: establishing program goals and objectives, evaluating asset portfolios, site selection and readiness (including market conditions), site and feasibility analysis in relation to transit facilities, working with developers, conducting developer and public outreach (including defining responsibility), design and construction reviews, and negotiating and managing direct and associated agreements; (3) Tools and techniques that facilitate decision-making by a range of project participants, such as checklists, site-analysis matrices, cost/benefit analyses, financial models, and/or other applicable procedural models; (4) An understanding of the requirements and expectations of the potential development team necessary to execute a joint development project with a public sector partner successfully; (5) A targeted review of joint development project experience, including a description of lessons observed and effective practices, gleaned from a broad range of agencies with program experience (both successes and failures) and from the private development community; and (6) Strategies for successful implementation, including local and regional approvals; navigating the federal approval process where appropriate; seeking FTA funding as part of a capital grants program; developing cost-sharing, funding and financing plans; and consideration of opportunities for working with other government agencies with similar joint development potential. Note: For the purposes of this study, the following definition of "Joint Development" should apply: Joint development is the coordinated improvement of a transit system and the surrounding real estate managed cooperatively between the transit agency and real estate developers. Transit agencies actively participate in joint development by contributing either property or funding, and transit agencies also benefit from joint development by enjoying system improvements and/or by receiving a share of the development revenues (adapted from FTA).


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $400000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project H-57

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Goldstein, Lawrence

  • Start Date: 20180508
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01667918
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project H-57
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Apr 30 2018 3:14PM