Vision42 Economic Impacts Studies & Financing Plan
New York, New York
Urbanomics served as prime contractor to Vision42, preparing six comprehensive analyses from 2005 to 2017 to evaluate the feasibility of the proposed conversion of 42nd Street into a landscaped auto-free light rail boulevard. The modern, light rail transit service that is envisaged to traverse 42nd Street, from river to river, would transform 42nd Street into a magnet for workers, shoppers, and tourists at large.
The firm's task work for Vision42 included economic and fiscal impacts related to property values and ridership; analysis of transportation accessibility and land values; 42nd street retail surveys and interviews with major entertainment and hospitality stakeholders; comparable market analyses of national LRT developments; evaluation of potential funding sources and creative financing options; financing plan using TIF or TID financing tools; and an evaluation of benefits of the proposed LRT system vs. the #7 train 10th Ave subway station.
The detailed studies by the Urbanomics team of the economic and fiscal implications of vision42 showed a highly beneficial cost-benefit ratio, indicating a clear means of funding the light rail line. It projects $4.5 billion of increases in property values along the 42nd Street corridor as a result of improved cross-town accessibility, as well as annual economic and fiscal benefits of $986.6 million, which far exceed the total capital cost of the light rail and pedestrian street, projected at $411.3 to $582.2 million (in 2007 dollars). Travel time savings and their effect on retail, tourism, and real estate values and rentals, including an anticipated 35% increase in retail and restaurant business, were weighed against any extra costs, such as those for deliveries, to individuals and businesses. The reports include interviews of key members of the NYC real estate industry and business owners and managers, as well as surveys of the experiences of other cities in North America and Europe.