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RV 2015: Leftover Land: Making the Most of Surplus Assets by Lorna Moritz


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How well do you know your real estate assets? Many transit agencies and cities don't really know what they own. Asset management is often an afterthought, instead of a proactive strategy. Understanding available leftover land, surplus property and under-utilized sites helps build a pipeline of development opportunities. How can you evaluate real estate assets to select potential TOD sites? How do you employ geographic information systems (GIS) and easily accessible real estate inventory systems (REIS) to strengthen your management? Learn how difficult parcel configurations, such as railroad rights of way, can be tapped to create TOD. Examine working inventory systems and successful TOD built on leftover land, as well as successful programs utilizing asset management techniques.

Moderator: William Velasco II, Chairman, Board of Directors TOD Committee, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Dallas, Texas
Amy Geisler, AICP, Development Manager, Metro Transit, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Lorna Moritz, President, TR Advisors, LLC, Boston, Massachusetts

Published in: Real Estate
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RV 2015: Leftover Land: Making the Most of Surplus Assets by Lorna Moritz

  1. 1. Real Estate Asset Management for Public Agencies Presented By: Lorna Moritz TR Advisors LLC 77 Franklin St. 9th Floor Boston, MA 02110 617-482-2525
  2. 2. WHAT IS REAL ESTATE ASSET MANAGEMENT? 2 Asset Management – “making the best possible use of real estate assets, via disposition, acquisition, investment and/or development, to achieve the best possible revenues and income given certain time, return and risk parameters.” Asset Managers focus on  Increasing Income  Reducing Expenses  Improving Property Value  Maximizing returns and property value. How does this concept relate to the public sector?
  3. 3. WHY REAL ESTATE ASSET MANAGEMENT MATTERS 3  Being a good steward of publicly owned property  Providing information about property within the transit agency  Avoiding costs and liability  Effectively and efficiently interacting with neighbors, community and business about property issues  Preventing encroachments and other un-authorized uses; and  Creating non-fare/tax revenues from compatible uses  Disposing of surplus property for the highest and best use  Creating opportunities for Transit Oriented Development!
  4. 4. FUNDAMENTALS OF REAL ESTATE ASSET MANAGEMENT 4  Know what you own!  Think of your real estate as a marketable and valuable asset  View your real estate holistically; don’t let a small transaction impair a larger one  Monitor your lease portfolios and plan for revenue enhancement  Have standard form documents for ease of management and responsiveness to market  Have effective systems for tenant revenue collection and lease administration  Streamline process for surplusing property, leasing/licensing, and value creation initiatives  Use market based principles for attracting interest in your real estate initiatives
  5. 5. 5  Why the MBTA didn’t know what it owned  Creation of a real estate relational database system with geographic information enhancements  One comprehensive, consistent and reliable source of information for over 4000 parcels of land  Conversion of hard copy data to digital format (plans, deeds, photos, etc.  Geo-referencing of parcel data and valuation/track plans NO. 1: KNOW WHAT YOU OWN! CASE STUDY: MBTA & LANDTRACKER™
  6. 6. USING & MAINTAINING LANDTRACKER™ 6  Automated reporting to answer public and internal inquiries  Keeping the data up to date; adding new data sets  Using the system to manage transit assets and other locational data  Areas of Environmental Concern  Bus Shelters  Historic sites  Underground storage tanks  Using the data to manage encroachments  Using the data to find opportunities for TOD and other revenue producing opportunities
  7. 7. 7  SOUTHWEST CORRIDOR: A project to clean up complex property title issues associated with the development of the Orange Line that had languished for more than 20 years. The cost of this project was many times paid for by the identification of parcels that were surplus for sale or lease including four TOD projects.  LINE BY LINE REVIEW: of all of the MBTA’s 650 miles of right of way, systematically identified encroachments as well as potential development parcels and TOD opportunities for the disposition pipeline.  RAIL TRAILS: Identified and evaluated inactive right of way for rail trails. Over forty rail trail projects in various stages of completion and development.  COMMUTER PARKING TO TOD: Evaluated commuter parking lots for TOD potential LANDTRACKER™ SPECIAL PROJECTS
  8. 8. WEST ROXBURY: ENCROACHMENT ANALYSIS AND BACK YARD PROGRAM 8  One mile abandoned orphan line in heavily settled area  Over 80 encroachments identified using LandTracker™  Community-based “Backyard Program”  Multiple approaches to cure encroachments  Over $1.5 million in value created  Satisfied community concerns  Eliminated maintenance headaches and costs
  9. 9. NEWBURYPORT STATION: EXCESS PARKING = TOD OPPORTUNITY 9  814 Spaces; 20% Occupancy  Depot building on the “wrong side of the tracks”  Two communities  Wetlands issues  Agreements and encumbrances  11 acres were identified for TOD use  City of Newburyport created 40B TOD overlay zone  In talks with developer after RFP process
  10. 10. RESULTS OF MBTA ASSET MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 10  Trained over 400 users of the Land Tracker™ Database:  Legal Department  Engineering and Construction Department  Operations: Commuter Rail, Subway, Bus  Transit Police  Planning  Created over $650 million in cash and non-cash value from real estate assets  Created over $800 million in economic development within the MBTA operating region just from real estate sales and leasing for development  Completed over 55 TOD related transactions