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Developments near transit hubs have become attractive

As traffic is projected to increase in coming years, developments near transit hubs have become increasingly attractive to intrastate rail transit, including the largest high-speed system in the US.

The variety of shops and the availability of transit favor multifamily projects. The L.A. County Metropolitan Transit Authority (LACMTA) operates bus, light rail and subway services and is the third largest transit agency in the country. The scale of development ranges from small neighborhood centers around the stops at the Expo line, to the mammoth convergence of transit at Union Station.

Many Opportunities Exist

The wide variety of stores appeal to the regular passerby. Theaters and other entertainment venues find customers at the hubs, too. Empty office complexes in the suburbs have lost many of their tenants to new facilities near transit stops. Apartments with access to shopping and transit are particularly desirable for Millennials and, in metropolitan Los Angeles, are located in the downtown areas of Long Beach, Hollywood and L.A. itself. The Pasadena area – stops like Fillmore, Del Mar and Memorial Park – is especially interesting because Amtrak’s Surfliner service to San Diego is due for expansion, and the promised high-speed link to San Francisco will be routed near there.

But there are many transit stops in lower density areas as well, and these offer potential for upgrading, or even replacing, adjacent properties. What used to be a strip mall can be transformed into a mixed-use development, with offices, high-end stores, restaurants and theaters.

Attracting the Millenials

The preferred lifestyle for Millenials appears to be very different from that of the Boomers. Rather than an isolated house on an acre 30 miles from a central city, young adults today like closer-knit communities, with more opportunities for social interaction and amenities nearby. They purchase bicycles and short-range electric vehicles, and generally appreciate a more casual lifestyle. They tend to stay longer in apartments, waiting to start families and in preparation for buying a house, saving to reduce the mortgage. But even when they own, they like to have their friends around. Changes in the office environment have led to more flexible working hours and more mobility. Many younger workers perform a substantial part of their jobs in Wi-Fi-equipped cafés.

Really, the transit stop provides an immediate connection to anywhere you might go, with a lot less time spent sitting in an automobile.

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