Developers in the White Flint area along Rockville Pike, MD are banking on new infrastructure.
The White Flint area, along busy arterial Rockville Pike in Montgomery Pike, MD, is one of four corridor case studies explored in the new ULI report Shifting Suburbs: Reinventing Infrastructure for Compact Development.
The Washington, DC metro area continues to be a hot market for compact, walkable new development. The White Flint area in Montgomery County, Maryland is providing a model for how the infrastructure needed to support this development type can be paid for.
Redevelopment of the 430-acre area is being guided by the White Flint Sector Plan. The White Flint Partnership, an alliance of eight major real estate developers in the area, was a key stakeholder in the development of the plan.
Recognizing that outmoded infrastructure was a development roadblock, and that public funds were limited to address the need, the Partnership helped spearhead efforts to create a new property tax to pay for corridor improvements. These improvements will include new transit-supportive infrastructure, like sidewalks, bike lanes, and more.
Francine Waters, managing director at Lerner and member of the White Flint Partnership, presented the partnership’s story at a ULI forum in Atlanta in 2011. Waters noted the power of creating a unified vision for the White Flint area, and the rationale behind the infrastructure investment strategy. She is quoted in the report as saying:
“With public transportation, with the new network of streets, with the greater accessibility and more mobility, the value of the property rises incredibly. The members of the White Flint Partnership recognized that they are creating value.”
Another partnership member, Evan Goldman, vice president at Federal Realty Investment Trust, explained the organization’s work in a 2012 Urban Land article about special taxing districts. “The partnership allowed companies who would normally be competitive to jointly fund an economic-benefit study, a taxing-mechanism study, and community outreach,” he said.
A county-wide bus rapid transit may someday traverse Rockville Pike. And when it does, White Flint will be ready.