- Affordable Housing
- Active Projects
The Metro Joint Development (JD) Program is a real estate management program that collaborates with qualified developers to build transit-oriented developments (TODs) on Metro-owned properties. These properties are often parcels of land that contain Metro Rail station portals or platforms or that were acquired for parking or construction staging for transit projects.
Metro’s JD sites are a gateway to the Metro transit system and hold unique potential for shaping the built environment surrounding transit stations, which will have a significant impact on rider experience, attraction of new riders, and the urban form of the County of Los Angeles.
The Joint Development Process
The JD process begins with the creation of Development Guidelines, driven by a community engagement process. The Development Guidelines are typically created with assistance from outside architectural firms, and are often accompanied by feasibility studies, including a market study. The Development Guidelines document is a place to reflect on the desired land uses, density and amenities for a Metro-owned site, as well as to provide neighborhood context, and assess opportunities for integration with active transportation and other community development goals. The Guidelines are the place to work with the community and local regulatory agency to identify the kind of development and related infrastructure that ensure that developments on Metro-owned property contribute to the creation of transit oriented communities. The Development Guidelines are brought to the Metro Board of Directors for review and adoption.
Once Development Guidelines are adopted, Metro solicits development proposals for JD sites through a Request for Information and Qualifications (RFIQ) or a Request for Proposals (RFP). JD projects are typically completed using a long term ground lease to a private developer who fully entitles, environmentally clears, designs, finances, and constructs a private development on Metro’s property.
What Metro Seeks from Joint Development
- Reduced auto use/increased transit use
- Density, but consistent with surrounding neighborhood
- Mix of uses linked to transit
- High quality design
- Upgrades to/completion of Metro facilities
- Incorporation of first/last mile and active transportation improvements
- Strong neighborhood and inter-modal link
- Pedestrian orientation
- Enhanced transit patron experience
- Long-term ground lease (typically)
- Fair market return
- Sustainable development
To date, “Design Review” of JD projects has typically been limited to input from various Metro departments, including but not limited to Engineering, Operations, Security, Civil Rights, and Communications, and has been focused on avoiding impacts to transit facilities or operations. In 2015, Metro’s Joint Development Team (“JD Team”) is launching a design review process that will meaningfully engage community stakeholders and more comprehensively consider the quality of the design, architecture and aesthetics of developments on Metro-owned property, as well as reflects the recommendations of the Metro First/Last Mile Strategic Plan active transportation goals, and Metro’s Sustainability Policy.
The goal of this design review process is to engage stakeholders throughout the JD process, and to demand the highest possible quality of architecture and urban design from the developers of JD projects consistent with the projects’ economics, while maintaining the necessary technical integrity of the project with respect to Metro’s facilities. This process is also another check point to identify opportunities for the proposed development to contribute to promoting TOCs.
To implement the new design review process, the JD Team will coordinate with a hired design professional who will serve as a Design Review Consultant (“Consultant”) for JD projects. The Consultant’s role will be to: facilitate community input in the creation of Development Guidelines; assist the JD Team with assessing and commenting on the design quality of proposals received during the solicitation process; and facilitate the collection, processing and finalizing of comments from the Metro departments mentioned above, as the JD team progresses through the negotiation of project terms with the selected developer.
Critical to creating transit oriented communities is ensuring that housing built near transit serves households of all income levels. Further, transit ridership is highest among low income households, so maintaining and supporting housing for households of all levels promotes increased transit ridership, provides a more efficient use of concentrated transit services, and takes advantage of first/last mile connections for Metro’s customers. Through its Joint Development Program, Metro has worked with affordable housing developers and local jurisdictions to create transit–oriented affordable housing at or near a number of Metro Stations. To date, Metro’s Joint Development Program has created over 2,000 units of housing, of which a 31% are affordable.
Direction from the Metro Board
In November 2014, Metro’s Board of Directors approved a motion directing staff to conduct a preliminary assessment of several options for increasing Metro’s role in the creation of affordable housing. Included in the motion was direction to pursue Cap and Trade funds through the California Strategic Growth Council’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program.
Staff reported back to the Board in March 2015. At this meeting, the Board approved a motion directing staff to return to the Board with:
- An amended Joint Development Policy, establishing a goal that 35% of all residential units developed on Metro owned property is affordable.
- A recommended criteria under which Metro would reduce the cost of affordable housing development by allowing discounts to the fair market value of Metro owned property in proportion to the percent of affordable units.
- An estimate or projection of the “proportional discount” to the fair market value of MTA-owned properties.
- The feasibility of budgeting $2 million annually for 5 years and up to $10 million for the establishment of a multi-partner Countywide Transit Oriented Affordable Housing and Business loan fund during the FY2015-16 budget.
Furthermore, the Board directed staff to:
- Develop a memorandum of understanding with interested local jurisdictions to promote co-investment along transit corridors, such as leveraging a local jurisdiction’s affordable housing and small business dollars for Metro’s Joint Development affordable housing sites.
- Negotiate the terms and conditions for the Board’s consideration that reflect Metro’s participation in the collaborative creation of the Transit Oriented Affordable Housing and Business loan fund including a criteria for eligible affordable housing and neighborhood serving business joint development projects, the plan for administering the funds, the structure of the loan program and potential sources of funding.
- Work with a diverse stakeholder affordable housing community to establish a revenue-neutral TAP purchase program that provides passes to current and future occupants of Metro joint developments.
- Reference MTA’s Sustainability Planning Policy to ensure an integrated approach to Joint Development and potential loan fund.
- Response: Request For Information Regarding Affordable Housing And Metro Involvement
- Motion: Public Transportation, Affordable Housing, and Environment
Staff is gathering information to report back to the Board on the next steps for these policies and programs. This webpage will be updated as actions are carried out.
For more information on the recent housing motions please contact Marie Sullivan at SullivanMa@metro.net or 213-922-5667.
With the historic expansion of Metro’s rail system underway, the Joint Development program is in full swing. The Joint development team has created project webpages for active projects, grouped by geographic area.
|San Fernando Valley
Red and Orange Lines
|Central Los Angeles
Red and Purple Lines
- The Joint Development Team is assessing Metro-owned sites along the under-construction Crenshaw/LAX Line, to determine their feasibility for transit oriented development. A Motion at the March 26th, 2015 meeting of the Metro Board of Directors called for the creation of a strategic plan for joint development activities on the Crenshaw Line. This plan will be reported at the June 2015 Board Meeting.
- Metro and the County of Los Angeles are partnering for the joint development of two County-owned sites: one at 3606 W. Exposition Blvd. in the City of Los Angeles, currently the site of a Probation Department facility and one at 923 E. Redondo Blvd. in the City of Inglewood, currently a Department of Public Social Services facility.
- The Joint Development Team anticipates a community-driven Development Guidelines process for targeted sites in fall 2015, with the first RFPs targeted for release in early 2016.
For more information on the Crenshaw/LAX corridor sites, contact Nick Saponara, Director Countywide Planning and Development, 213.922.4313