Metro looks to accelerate development near stations

The region could be getting some more transit-friendly developments.

Metro wants to pick up the pace when it comes to building commercial and housing properties near its stations, on land that it owns.

The agency hopes to execute new joint development agreements at 20 more stations in the next 10 years. Metro outlined its goals for boosting transit-oriented development in a new strategic plan.

While the developments would be located all over the region, “there are more … undeveloped opportunities in Montgomery County and Prince George’s County overall,” said Liz Price, Metro’s vice president of real estate and parking.

The hope is to see construction on some of these projects start in the next five to seven years, she said.

Metro is banking on both real estate proceeds and increased ridership from the developments.

Overall, the report says there are development opportunities at 40 stations — there are 91 in the system currently — totaling more than 500 acres, which could translate to 31 million square feet of new development and 26,000 new housing units.

Joint development agreements are not new to Metro, which has seen 55 buildings built at 30 stations since Metro opened in the 1970s, Price said.

Price also said that while the strategic planning process predates the pandemic, income from the developments would help Metro address potential financial shortfalls in the future. The agency is facing a coming shortfall with ridership down and with federal COVID-19 relief funding set to taper off.

Metro stations ripe for development. (Click to view full size)
John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP.

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