Transit-Oriented Development Opportunities Among Failing Malls

Status: In Progress

The potential use of failing shopping malls for siting transit-oriented developments (TODs) could increase opportunities for ensuring that transit, whether light rail/bus rapid transit/express buses, is sited in areas that will provide higher ridership rates and lower vehicle miles traveled per household. The conversion of failing malls to TODs has two major redevelopment advantages. The larger shopping centers are large sites, often equivalent to several city blocks, many with vast surface parking (requiring less demolition). Such sites could be rezoned for mixed use with 5-6 story buildings and retain a reduced mix of commercial activities. In addition, malls are typically owned by a single owner/manager, making it easier for local governments to negotiate zoning, master plans, and public-private partnerships.

This project will synthesize the literature on two topics: a) the findings of research on the impact of transit investments on transit sheds, in particular on the obstacles to establishing TODs in areas of transit investment; and b) the potential for and obstacles to the redevelopment of failing malls into TODs. This white paper will identify research gaps in both these areas.

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