Mobility Lab has found that providing better transportation options to tenants isn’t being capitalized as much as it should by property managers and real estate developers. It finds this particularly surprising, especially given that developers fully understand how important and how lucrative it is to locate developments close to transit.
It has outlined a list of different transport solutions that will help developers stand out from the crowd. The first thing it suggests is performing tenant surveys to better understand people, particularly if a property has a high turnover rate. Another thing to try is to remind people that they can bike and walk to work. This strategy can work very well in the case of new residents who are more open to changing long-time habits. Options to improve tenant’s ability to walk and bike include making it more attractive and easier to walk safely, adding bicycle parking and repair amenities, installing showers and lockers and adding a fleet of bicycles.
The article also suggests thinking creatively about elements that may initially seem to have very little to do with transportation. This might mean including healthy food options so people no longer need to travel to eat, and building affordable housing units so fewer lower income people are forced to live far away from transit.
Sometimes developers are able to get recognition for their work in providing tenants with better options such as transportation. As for example, Arlington Transportation Partners has a Champions program with properties being recognized as a bronze, silver, gold or platinum level member. These types of programs can help a community accomplish clearer goals.
Another easy way developers can entice potential tenants is by offering the kinds of transit benefits often offered by companies to employees, such as transit passes and benefits, as well as subsidies and priority parking for van pools, carpools, and electric vehicles, and passes for car sharing fleets such as car2go and Zipcar. Developers are also encouraged to focus on the family, providing storage for car seats near car share parking, cargo bikes and shopping carts, and on-site childcare services. These facilities help reduce some of the anxiety parents may feel about needing their own personal car for their daily commute.
It also recommend developers to reduce if they are able to, the number of parking spaces on site, replacing these empty spots with something more lucrative. This may mean separating the cost of parking from the cost of renting an apartment, allowing tenants to choose hourly or daily parking passes or even the option to receive the cash value of the space rather than the actual parking space.