FROM THE LinkedIn Group – REAL ESTATE AND MOBILITY
Are electric scooters about to take over your city?
“The scooters, which weigh between 30 and 40 pounds, have treaded rubber tires and can zip along at up to 15 miles per hour…Bird plans to have its scooters parked in 50 U.S. markets by the end of this year. In all of these schemes, scooters are scattered around cities, and users can locate and unlock them using a smartphone app. Rides on Bird’s scooters cost a minimum of $1 and riders are charged 15 cents for each additional minute of their ride, CNN reports. Bird collects its scooters each night to recharge them, putting out freshly charged scooters around the city each morning for riders’ commutes.
Updates from the TOD Index
“The average home value in TOD zip codes surpassed $610 per SF in July 2017. By December 2017, the average home value in a TOD was $636 per SF, more than 3.8 times the value of the average home in the United States, which was valued at $164 per SF.”
First robot delivery drivers start work at Silicon Valley campus
“Employees of finance developer Intuit in Mountain View, California, will be able to order breakfast, lunch and coffee from their staff cafeteria and have it delivered to any point in the company’s Silicon Valley campus by one of Starship’s 10kg six-wheeled autonomous robots…In the little over a year since the company made its world-first delivery – of lamb and falafel from a Turkish restaurant in London – it has amassed a global fleet of 150 robots carrying out daily drop-offs in eight cities in the US, UK, Estonia and Germany.”
How new transit options are affecting apartment rents
“The analysis found that in communities built since 2010, those with an Excellent Mobility ratings (80-plus points) charged 59 percent higher rent than average, while those with a Good Mobility ranking (60-90 points) cost 22 percent more than the market average. Overall, a 10 percent rise in an area’s MobilityScore resulted in a 12-cent increase in rent per square foot.”
A farmer’s market in a school bus is rolling in to relieve Denver’s food deserts
“Eventually, Any Street was granted a food truck license, which allowed them to finally drive on school campuses and begin offering fruit and vegetables for sale. But that permit isn’t perfect.
For one thing, a food truck license doesn’t allow Any Street to set up anything outside of their retrofitted bus. Ruehrdanz said she’d love to have an educational component, some kind of tent and table setup to greet passers by. It also comes with restrictions on operating too close to residential areas, which Ruehrdanz said kind of defeats their purpose to provide easy access to their goods.”
UCLA parking guru releases follow-up to groundbreaking book
“Parking is the single biggest land use in most cities; there’s more land devoted to parking than there is to housing or industry or commerce or offices,” said Shoup in an interview…In his new book, Shoup reiterates and distills the earlier 800-page work into three recommended parking reforms designed to improve cities, the economy and the environment:
- Remove off-street parking requirements
- Charge the right prices for on-street parking
- Spend the parking revenue to improve public services on the metered streets
Shoup persistently advocates for removal of off-street parking requirements, allowing developers and businesses to decide how much parking to provide. Charging the “right price,” or lowest price — varying dynamically throughout the day — that can keep a few spaces open, will allow convenient access, ease congestion, conserve fuel and reduce pollution caused by unnecessary idling and block-circling. In support of the third point, Shoup hypothesizes, “If everybody sees their meter money at work, the new public services can make demand-based prices for on-street parking politically popular.”
The bright future of electric cargo bikes
“An analysis of the effects of suburban densification on vehicle use for shopping: Do existing residents respond to land-use changes in the same way as recent movers?”
China’s Built a Road So Smart It Will Be Able to Charge Your Car
“Yet Qilu Transportation wants to do more than supply juice to the grid: it wants the road to be just as smart as the vehicles of the future. The government says 10 percent of all cars should be fully self-driving by 2030, and Qilu considers that an opportunity to deliver better traffic updates, more accurate mapping and on-the-go recharging of electric-vehicle batteries—all from the ground up…China also has a separate plan for developing its artificial-intelligence industry that calls for the nation to be the world’s primary AI innovation center by 2030…Part of that effort involves building what the government calls an intelligent transportation system. Coordinating the development of autonomous-driving cars and intelligent-road systems is a focus, said Yuan Peng, the deputy head of the transportation ministry’s science and technology department.
The Next Big Trend In Industrial
“Another trend that’s early on here is multi-story warehouse, which is alive and well in Asia. The only developer that has a multi-story warehouse project under construction in the US is Prologis, one of largest industrial owners in Japan and China, and it’s using that know-how and expertise to bring this product into the US. Their first multi-story warehouse project is in Seattle, and there is another that’s nearing commencement of construction in San Francisco, near downtown. Those are the only two I know of that are actually happening. There are probably six to eight projects in L.A. where developers have architects working on plans for multi-story warehouse facilities, but they’re not greenlighted yet.
A big reason why multi-story warehouse work in Japan and China so well but hasn’t worked here is that they have a large network of smaller trucks. The standard delivery truck in Japan can navigate a multi-level warehouse without a problem, but the 18-wheelers we use here are not designed to go up and down ramps, etc. The infrastructure doesn’t exist in the US and the high construction costs only pencil when land values exceed $60-70 per land square foot, so these projects only really work in the most infill locations in markets like Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey and South Florida, where land prices are reaching or exceeding those pricing levels.”
More Cities Are Banishing Highways Underground — And Building Parks on Top
“If you had plenty of other well-located urban land, you don’t need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to make this location better,” said Jennifer Ball, vice president for planning and economic development of Central Atlanta Progress, a business coalition. “This urban land is at a premium now.”…“It really is an economic development strategy,” Ball said. “It has a park, but if you dig closely into all the pretty renderings, we also see it as real estate development projects and the development of air rights. You’re creating land.”
When will ridesharing be cheaper than owning a car in Denver?
“Without having to factor in driver costs, the cost of a driverless rideshare trip in Denver will fall to $8.09, or $5,679 per year, compared to an estimated car ownership cost of $7,598 per year.”
RAYTHEON’S NEW RADAR COULD HELP BRING FLYING CARS TO OUR CITIES
“Instead of having single units that sit on towers or mountaintops, spinning and scanning up to 200 miles out, Raytheon proposes distributing smaller digital systems, en masse, across the landscape. The one-square-meter units—think of a big, white, upright pizza box—use active electronically scanned array technology that is more precise and more tunable than what’s in use now. And when spread across the terrain on cell towers, buildings, and hilltops, they should be able to track aircraft at much lower altitudes.”
Old Man Lutz Gives Dealerships 20 Years to Live, Doubles Down on Driving Dystopia
“But ultimately, automakers will be required to ready themselves for future in which they either turn into fleet providers or go out of business. Once again, Lutz predicted a world where vanilla self-driving vehicles replace traditional cars — moving through traffic swiftly without any risk of collision. “Are they going to be fun? Absolutely not,”Lutz said. “There will be no joy in sitting in an autonomous vehicle …But it’s going to be enormously efficient.” He expects ownership to decline to a negligible level. Instead, individuals will have access to ride-hailing services that pick them up and drop them off wherever they please. ”
RTD, Denver Public Works Prep to Speed Up Buses on Six City Streets
“The technique is called “transit signal priority.” It enables approaching buses to communicate with traffic signals and either extend a green light or turn a red light green.”
Shared Automated Vehicles can support urbanization, inclusion, and improve transportation options
“There are many opportunities to improve urban space while planning for SAV [shared automated vehicle] adoption. Ultimately, these vehicles will grant cities the chance to make adjustments in zoning, offer incentives (or disincentives), and optimize space. Three of the most important areas for cities to focus on are biking/walking infrastructure, parking lots/garages, and infill development/urban renewal. ”
Autonomous vehicles could ruin our downtowns. But not if we act now.
“The four mobility revolutions—connected, automated, electric, and shared vehicles—date back at least to The Jetsons of 1962…The four revolutions will arrive first in downtowns, with highly visible impacts. ”
Transportation Solutions reports that Neighborhood Mobility Hubs are emerging around the country as a way to connect public transit with surrounding neighborhoods. These hubs are a collection of transportation services that help travelers make their “first and last mile” trips between transit stations, home, work or other desired destinations.
Creating a Neighborhood Mobility Hub can be as easy as placing bikeshare, carshare, shuttles or ridesharing (i.e., Uber or Lyft) in close proximity to a transit station. Wayfinding and safe pedestrian facilities are included to connect the stations to these services. Transportation Solutions is exploring options for creating Neighborhood Mobility Hubs in southeast Denver and Glendale.
In 2018, we are continuing our focus on the University of Denver and Colorado Light Rail Stations as emerging mobility hubs. Starting this summer, the University of Denver will begin to pilot a micro-transit service that connects the campus with the rail station. Additionally, DU is preparing to launch a dockless bikeshare pilot soon.
Transportation Solutions is also studying a potential micro-transit service connecting Cherry Creek with nearby rail stations.
Bike to Work Day (BTWD) 2018 is just around the corner and we can’t wait to ride with everyone! Did you know that Transportation Solutions can be your resource in planning or promoting BTWD or a BTWD Station? We will be working with local organizations to host several BTWD Stations, including at the following locations: Colorado Center, Cherry Creek North, Creekside Park, and University of Denver. BTWD Stations offer free food, swag, bicycle maintenance, and more for bicycle commuters on BTWD. If you are a community member or employer who would like to help promote, participate, or host a station for BTWD 2018, please contact Robby Long at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you plan to bike to work on June 27th, don’t forget to register beginning May 1st (the earlier you register, the more likely you are to win one of the many amazing prizes this year).
Denver City Council Member Kendra Black Challenges the car-centric behavior of SE Denver. No Drive Friday is our campaign to reduce car traffic on Fridays. Use alternative transportation like biking, walking or public transit! Southeast neighbors have joined the movement, committing to drive-free Fridays. Are you up for the challenge? Let us know by sharing your photos on social media with the hashtag #NoDriveFriday or by emailing email@example.com.
RTD seeks applicants for its Citizens Advisory Committee – Group advises agency on strategies, initiatives and the FasTracks program
Residents of the eight-county Regional Transportation District (RTD) who are interested in public transit issues and community engagement are encouraged to apply for one of three vacancies on the RTD Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). The 17-member volunteer group advises the agency on RTD strategies and initiatives and the FasTracks program. CAC members represent a wide variety of backgrounds, interests and professional experiences. The group keeps metro-area citizens informed of FasTracks progress and RTD programs, services and projects. It encourages input from local communities.
Individuals interested in applying for a CAC position should submit a letter of interest to Roger Sherman of CRL Associates, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The letter, to not exceed two typed pages, should include answers to the following:
- Why you want to serve on the committee, and what unique experience and skills you will bring
- What affiliations and volunteer activities you have that will add value to the committee
- A statement of your personal objectives and goals, if accepted for CAC membership
Applicants are also encouraged to include a current resume. Materials must be received by the close of the business day on May 10. Appointments to the panel shall be made to ensure a broad representation of stakeholder interests, to achieve diversity and to provide geographical representation within the district. Selection criteria will include, but not be limited to, residency within the RTD district; a demonstrated interest in public transit and the FasTracks program; previous community service; experience working with local jurisdictions on regional issues; and professional expertise. For more information, contact Sherman at 303-592-5465.
Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods reports that last year the Downtown Denver Partnership launched “The 5280 Loop” that would encircle downtown Denver. Described by the Partnership as a “…Bold, visionary project…” that will “…transform how the public right-of-way is used…”, the Loop as proposed would be 5.2 miles long, and would include Sherman Street from 12th to 20th Avenues. Last year’s Capitol Hill meeting was poorly attended, with more staff than attendees, and a similar scenario unfolded at the second informational meeting held Tuesday, April 24, at the First Baptist Church, 1373 Grant Street. Six attendees were briefed by approximately eight staffers. The outlines of the impact of The 5280 Loop on Sherman Street were explained. Construction of a “dedicated” bike lane would result in the elimination of at least 50% of Sherman Street’s existing on-street parking, and possibility more, depending on how much “water quality” infrastructure is installed.
Given that neighborhood residents in the evening occupy all of the existing on-street parking, the question was asked where they would park if the 5280 Loop is constructed. No clear answer was provided. Also missing from the discussion was an explanation how the significant cost of The 5280 Loop would be paid, other than that the City would need to come up with the funds. What is clear is that the Partnership anticipates The Loop would be a big draw for out-of-town bicycling visitors to Denver, who might forego existing scenic bike trails along Cherry Creek and the South Platte River to ride through neighborhoods close-in to downtown. The next step for the Partnership in its progress toward constructing The 5280 Loop is to convince the City to fund more detailed planning for a segment of the trail.
The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority reports that President Trump signed into law the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill. This important legislation included two key provisions that were supported by CHFA as opportunities to strengthen and expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.
Housing Credit Increase:
Summary: The Omnibus authorized a 12.5 percent increase in state Housing Credit authority for four years beginning in 2018 (2018-2021). In each of those years, the per capita amount and small state minimum that otherwise would have been in effect would be multiplied by 1.125.
Status: Colorado is estimated to receive an additional $1.8 million in 9 percent tax credit authority for awards starting in 2018. Given that CHFA forward-reserves credit, both the 2018 and 2019 increase will be available for reservation as part of CHFA’s upcoming 9 percent allocation round (Round Two 2018), resulting in an estimated total of $16.6 million in annual LIHTC authority available. Application information is available in CHFA’s Qualified Allocation Plan.
Summary: The Omnibus permanently establishes a new minimum set-aside election option for Housing Credit developments. Specifically, rather than committing to either 40 percent of units limited to 60 percent of area median income (AMI) or 20 percent of units limited to 50 percent of AMI, developers would have a third option, allowing Credit-qualified units to serve households earning as much as 80 percent of AMI, so long as the average income limit in the property is 60 percent or less of AMI.
Status: CHFA is awaiting further guidance from the U.S. Department of Treasury and IRS prior to releasing detailed implementation procedures and an effective date for this provision.
CHFA recognizes the strong interest from the affordable housing community regarding this new opportunity and will be providing regular updates to our stakeholders as more details become available.
Denver City Council Member Paul Kashmann summarized the Denver approach to attainable housing. The city created an Affordable Housing Fund in early 2017, blending together proceeds from .5-mil of property tax revenue with Denver’s first ever development impact fee assessed on construction projects in the Mile High City. These two sources were expected to generate $15 million per year and facilitate construction and preservation of some 6,000 units over 10 years. With statistics showing as many as 80,000 Denver families being overly burdened by the cost of housing, it was obvious that we needed to be far more bold with both dollars and ideas in attacking the housing crisis.
Spurred by plans of a housing advocacy group — All In Denver — to put a housing bond package on the November ballot, in mid-April Mayor Michael Hancock announced a proposal that would double the Affordable Housing Fund to $30 million annually. In addition, the property tax portion of that fund would pass through to Denver Housing Authority (DHA), who would use that revenue stream to sell $105 million in bonds to build and preserve more affordable housing units in less time than previously envisioned. Increasing the fund amount will be achieved by increasing the sales tax on marijuana from 3.5 percent to 5.5 percent and adding money from our General Fund, while we wait for proceeds from the development impact fee to reach anticipated levels.
About half of the bond proceeds would go to purchase small parcels (1-3 acres) across the city, on which affordable projects could be built. Money would also be directed to mortgage assistance to keep people in their homes, financial counseling and a variety of other tools to help housing burdened individuals and families make their home in the City and County of Denver.
While we are still vetting the details of the program to be sure that 2 plus 2 does indeed end up equaling 4, I am very pleased that the administration seems to have seen the light that baby steps in this area are not sufficient.
Confluence reports that with the launch of its Community Solar Program in December, Denver Housing Authority became the first housing authority in the nation to develop, own, and operate its own solar garden.
Denver City Council Member Mary Beth Susman reports there are currently 5 buildings under construction on the former University Health Sciences campus. The first residential building just south of the parking garage at 11th and Colorado has topped out and is nearly complete.
Continuum has recently received the temporary occupancy permit for the building which will allow future residents to begin moving in very shortly. The site just to the east of the parking garage is also well under construction. The building will continue to rise over the next 18 months.
Boulevard One’s mixed-use center at Quebec Street and Lowry Boulevard is being designed right now. Anchored by Lucky’s Market, the center will attract shoppers from throughout east Denver and Lowry with a choice of restaurants, entertainment, services, and offices.
Boulevard One’s new Community Park is nearly complete. The finishing touches are underway and the park should be open soon. Additionally, located in the southwest corner of Boulevard One, Memorial Park honors Lowry’s heritage by showcasing an Air Force medallion that once adorned an Air Force administration building. A tiered sandstone wall engraved with quotes will flank the medallion and echo the diverse voices of citizens who helped transform Lowry Air Force Base into a new community. The original farmland is celebrated with a kitchen herb garden, berries, apple trees, and picnic tables. Memorial Park will open later this year.
Denver City Council Member Kendra Black reports we are lucky to have five light rail stations in southeast Denver: Colorado Center, Yale, Southmoor, Belleview and Dayton (which is actually in Aurora, but borders Denver.) In ideal situations, the areas around stations would be active places where people live, work, shop and dine. Belleview Station is developing into this ideal scenario. Unfortunately, some of our other stations are surrounded by car-oriented uses and storage facilities which don’t encourage ridership. To prevent future storage and drive-through businesses, I have initiated an amendment to our zoning code that will prohibit the development of storage facilities and drive-throughs within ¼ of a mile from light rail stations. The Council will be voting on this bill on May 21.