Recent investments in active transportation infrastructure projects, such as trails, bike lane networks, and bike-sharing systems, have not only made walking and bicycling safer and more convenient, they have served to support nearby real estate development.
Leading development practitioners are recognizing the potential of the competitive advantage to be gained by developing projects adjacent to walking and bicycling routes, and are providing active transportation-supportive amenities within buildings.
Two new active transportation project profiles released by ULI showcase the growing synergies between real estate development and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure investments.
The profiles highlight how bike-friendly amenities have supported project success at Via6, a 654-unit mixed-use apartment complex in downtown Seattle, and how the US 36 Bikeway, an 18-mile off-road path in Colorado, is beginning to spur adjacent “trail-oriented development.”
US 36 Bikeway
The US 36 Bikeway was built as part of FasTracks, Denver’s ambitious public transportation investment program, and connects to numerous area trails, as well as to new express bus stations between Boulder and Westminster, CO. These connections allow multimodal commutes for area residents, bolstering real estate and economic development opportunities along the route. As of 2017, at least four development projects along the corridor had advanced plans to leverage access to the bikeway.
“The city of Westminster views the US 36 Bikeway as a significant asset for the new downtown that complements existing transit and incoming development,” says Sarah Nurmela, real estate and development manager for the city.
“The bikeway will provide residents, workers, and visitors to the downtown with a convenient, direct connection to Denver and Boulder, as well as Westminster’s 135 miles [217 km] of trails.”
Via6 spans half a city block in downtown Seattle. Developer Pine Street Group LLC created the two-tower development as a “vertical neighborhood” of residential, leisure, and commercial spaces.
The project features an array of amenities that support active lifestyles, including secure bike storage and a bicycle commuting club that gives members access to locker rooms, bike parking, and showers regardless of whether they are residents of the building. The project also includes the on-site Velo Bike Shop, which has been operating in Seattle since 1968.
“Renters put value on location and amenities, including Via6’s bicycle-friendly features,” says Matt Griffin, managing partner of Pine Street Group. “Accommodating bikes in the building and providing access to unique services such as those offered by the Velo Bike Shop saves people time and makes life more convenient.”
Additional information, including profiles of active transportation real estate development and infrastructure projects can be found here and in the report Active Transportation and Real Estate: The Next Frontier.
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ULI is grateful to the Colorado Health Foundation for its support of this project and the ULI Building Healthy Places Initiative.