Building Diversified Communities
Best practice: Land Assembly in Washington, D.C.
Since transit-oriented development often occurs in areas previously developed with fragmented property ownership, planners and policy makers using innovative land assembly techniques can protect property owner equity while creating parcels large enough to make a project feasible.
In the Washington D.C. area, policymakers have used equity investment and the passage of special legislation that combines owner equity and condemnation authority.
Under the equity investment approach, landowners become shareholders and form a development entity that acquires ownership under one name. Land owners receive shares of the redevelopment project based on their proportional value of the property. Shares reflect the market value of the entire redevelopment project. This land assembly approach is being used around WMATA’s Anacostia Metro Station at the Skyland Shopping Center.
In 2006, Washington D.C. passed legislation that allows one property owner to be the developer in a joint venture. Existing property owners invest in the project and become equity owners and have the added ability to become fee simple owners if commercial opportunities in the project arise. Created for the New Town at Capital City Market Revitalization Development project, once an owner acquires 50% of the land, the remaining land can be acquired through condemnation, if necessary. The legislation allows the use of Tax Increment Fianancing and payment in lieu of taxes to help finance the project.
TOD Best Practices: Building Diversified Communities