Builder Philosophy

Transit Oriented Development

Pedestrian-friendly. Earth-Friendly. Wallet-friendly.

At the end of World War II American GIs returned home to find prosperity and rapid growth in the Western United States. This prosperous time gave many individuals and families the ability to buy homes, land, and automobiles.

It also spawned the creation of Suburban Sprawl. Everyone wanted a little slice of Americana in the form of a 10,000 square foot lot with a three bedroom, two bath house, and a two car garage. Suddenly, town and village centers became obsolete. Large shopping centers and mega retailers located near major intersections and interchanges along arterial roads and freeways replaced the local market, butcher, baker, and dairy. The freeways and large arterials were designed to accommodate the ever-growing population of automobiles that gave Americans the ability to live, work, and play in separate locations.

Today a transition from five decades of suburban sprawl and the conventional auto-oriented suburban subdivision to the nostalgia of traditional neighborhood design is occurring at a rapid pace in many areas of the western United States. Numerous studies conducted by the Congress for New Urbanism, and Smart Growth America in the last decade show that at least 30% of all homebuyers are dissatisfied with their current home located in a conventional suburban subdivision. Studies show that these buyers would relocate to a master planned community that incorporates smaller homes on smaller lots with more open space and amenities. The most popular amenities are walking and biking trails, recreation center, retail and commercial services within walking distance, and central civic spaces.

What does it mean to be pedestrian friendly? It means our communities are built for people-not cars. At each Costa Pacific community, the winding paths and quiet, tree-lined streets are perfect for walking or riding a bike. The hidden rear garages help minimize the impact of automobiles. And the convenience of mass transit — including light rail stations and bus stops — provides an economical and environmentally friendly alternative to driving. It all comes together to create a safer, healthier, and more connected way of life for all of our residents — and, in short, a very friendly way to live.

According to the Urban Land Institute, rail, whether commuter rail, light rail, or subway, is the rising star of metropolitan areas across the country. Rail systems are found in only about 30 American cities, and in most of those, ridership is strong and demand threatens to exceed capacity.

Unlike traditional city buses, light rail and commuter rail are more appealing to virtually every demographic group, including professionals and higher-income residents. Many cities are jumping into the fray, and are seeking federal funds (which now require a 40 to 50 percent local match) to initiate or expand rail systems. With construction of new systems or expansion of existing systems comes the opportunity for residential development around new transit stations.

Costa Pacific has identified Transit Oriented Development (TOD) as a primary target for several reasons:

  1. TODs are defined by Costa Pacific as villages that are adjacent to or are within a 1/2 mile radius of a transit station. These villages are most successful when they incorporate a variety of uses and approach the status of "18-hour" communities. Typically they include neighborhood retail services, office, and high density residential components. In many ways they are small master planned communities that enable its residents to live, work, play, and learn where they reside, or commute to these places without using an automobile.

  2. In many cases TODs can be an ideal vehicle for the creation of public/private partnerships. Jurisdictions are often willing to assemble the land required for a TOD, and then turn it over to an experienced private developer. The community benefits from a more compact urban form that encourages more ridership on transit systems, reduced congestion on existing roadways, and more property tax revenue.

  3. TODs routinely enjoy significant value premiums over similar products without transit access. In some cases TOD's are the most valuable properties in the entire metro area, commanding average premiums of 20 to 25 percent over comparable non-transit sites. Costa Pacific achieved these results with Orenco Station.

  4. Costa Pacific's past success in large scale master planned communities around transit (Orenco Station) provides the company a substantial edge over competitors.