So how good of a financial decision can it be to build property around a DART Rail station? Take a look at the numbers gathered by the Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas and decide for yourself.
Using public records and data, UNT looked at the estimated values of properties within a quarter-mile of DART Rail stations* from 1993 to early 2013.
Why a quarter-mile? Because that’s the distance a person would reasonably walk without thinking about it, according to Terry L. Clower, Ph.D., director of the Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas.
Researchers broke down the properties into five categories and compared the values to a control area of a similar size for each station.
The control area is generally along a major roadway closest to the rail line at the next major intersection without a DART station.
The findings show that in each of the five categories analyzed (industrial, multifamily, office, retail and single family), value of the developments near DART exceeded the value of developments in the control area.
Office properties within a quarter-mile of DART Rail stations were shown to have 80 percent higher value than the control group office, which was the largest differential. Multifamily residential properties were valued 77 percent higher than those in the comparable control group. Single family properties near DART Rail stations showed a 52 percent higher value, retail properties had a 24 percent higher value and industrial properties had a 17 percent higher value.
The benefits of buying near a DART Rail property extend to the city level too. Properties located near DART Rail stations contributed $36.3 million in taxes to local cities compared to $14.2 million taxes contributed by properties in the control groups.
The numbers don’t lie. Property located near DART Rail stations is significantly more valuable than comparable property without nearby light rail access.
*(Note: The five stations in downtown Dallas (Union, West End, Akard, St. Paul and Pearl/Arts District) were not included in the study because of the difficulty calculating and measuring property.)