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Full steam ahead: Why transit hub development is seeing a resurgence
The following article segment originally appeared in Construction Dive on February 23, 2017. To read the full article click here.
Major hubs like Union Station in Washington, DC, Pennsylvania Station in New York City and 30th Street Station in Philadelphia are taking stock and ordering up hundreds of millions — if not billions — of dollars in facelifts not only to expand traveler capacity, but to look good doing it.
The drivers behind these transformations include a desire to entice people to come by and check out their dining, drinking, retail and event offerings — whether they’re traveling or not — as well as to give commuters a reason to stick around rather than just passing through.
There’s a spate of new transit hub construction happening in the U.S., and the resulting work in both the traditional rail and light rail station segments have something in common: their potential to spur development and convert the old-time train station into a destination itself.
People regularly travel through these transit hubs for work without stopping or thinking about how they impact the structures, but they are nevertheless assisting in their wear and tear, according to real estate attorney B.A. Spignardo of Shapiro Lifschitz & Schram in Washington, DC.
"Many of these buildings are incredibly old with amazing architecture to preserve, but [the stations] are dealing with the ebb and flow of travel," she said.
Redeveloping and changing the perception of these transit hubs, Spignardo noted, will draw in people to shop and socialize even when they’re not taking a trip, as well as give everyday passengers an excuse to stop and eat or have a drink with friends or colleagues instead of continuing to their next destination right away.
"It’s a way to [achieve] balance and attract people during off hours and use the structures that exist, which are an attraction in themselves," she said.
The complete article can be found on the Construction Dive website here.