The MTA’s Transit-Oriented Development Team collaborates with property owners and municipalities across the region to promote development around transit stations that increase accessibility and provide housing, retail shops, office and public improvements. Please contact us at TOD@mtacd.org to discuss transit requirements of the New York City Zoning resolution, MTA property interests, or planning for the creation of new zoning districts that promote TOD.
New York City Transit Requirements and Bonuses
The MTA’s TOD Team provides guidance to property owners to conform with the New York City Zoning Resolution's transit provisions, which require certain development projects to relocate subway stairs and provide opportunities for floor-area bonuses for subway entrance improvements. The TOD team helps developers to find solutions that balance commercial goals with public benefits - better transit access, visibility, and safety - and coordinates with the MTA External Partner Program on the technical details of getting project plans approved and construction implemented.
Bank of China Building: This Sixth Avenue site required a subway stair relocation into the building footprint. The MTA TOD Team, working with the developer, determined that both subway customers and the building would be better served with a subway entrance on 39th Street, rather than 40th Street, enabling the new building to put its main entrance facing Bryant Park, while providing subway customers a more conveniently located, spacious, and accessible new entrance on 39th Street.
One Vanderbilt: This new tower just west of Grand Central Terminal utilized the 2015 Vanderbilt corridor zoning provisions to be taller in exchange for transit improvements. The TOD Team worked with the developer and city officials to design an extensive below-grade concourse system into Grand Central with express escalators and elevators that were constructed and will be maintained by the developer.
Disposition of MTA Development Rights
Most MTA‐controlled properties are in active use for transportation‐related functions, but occasionally, property interests – land or air rights - are available and offered through competitive Requests for Proposals. Developers who wish to acquire interests uniquely available only to an adjacent property such as easements should contact the TOD team.
Westbury: The MTA is seeking proposals for a new mixed-use development, including open space, on the LIRR-owned commuter parking lot south of the LIRR Westbury Station in conformance with the recently enacted Village of Westbury zoning. This offering is coordinated with MTA’s investment in reconstructing the Wesbury station as part of the LIRR Main Line improvement.
Dey Street Head House: The TOD Team negotiated the sale of 65,000 SF of development rights from MTA’s Dey Street transit entrance “headhouse” to an adjacent mixed-use development. The complex transaction included a light and air easement, an easement to allow the new building to partially cantilever over the transit entrance, and the right for MTA to transfer excess development rights from the Fulton Transit Center "through" the private property to other receiver sites.
Queens Plaza: The TOD Team negotiated the sale of 400,000 SF of development rights made available from an East Side Access construction site for a new residential building on Northern Boulevard in exchange for $56 million, an improved entrance to the Queens Plaza subway station and a new public park. The MTA Team facilitated coordination with the developer and MTA’s ongoing adjacent construction activities.
Harrison: The MTA, The Town/Village of Harrison, and a private developer have joined forces to create a new transit-oriented neighborhood adjacent to Metro-North’s Harrison Station where a 3+ acre surface parking lot used to be. New pedestrian-oriented four-story residential buildings lined with retail stores on the ground floor, pedestrian plazas, and a new parking structure will create a better experience for our customers and catalyze the redevelopment of downtown Harrison.
Creation or Improvement of Transit-Oriented Districts
Train stations are terrific amenities for communities, but all too often the land around stations is not optimally used. Warehouses no longer served by trains could be redeveloped with housing, shops and other neighborhood amenities. Parking lots can be reconfigured to combine parking with uses that can benefit from transit access. Municipalities and community groups wanting to improve neighborhoods around MTA train stations should contact our TOD team.
Wyandanch: The MTA’s TOD Team was an active partner in the Town of Babylon’s multi-year initiative to create a new 40-acre mixed-use downtown that capitalized on the site’s access to the LIRR Wyandanch Station. To facilitate the creation of a pedestrian neighborhood of 300 residential units, a park and a YMCA, the MTA swapped land parcels with the town, constructed a parking garage and rebuilt the Wyandanch LIRR station as a focal point of the new village center.
East Midtown Rezoning: The MTA was an integral player in the rezoning of East Midtown in which increased density for new office buildings is tied to ongoing investment in new transit improvements financed either directly by private development projects or through a District Improvement Fund dedicated to area-wide pedestrian and transit improvements.
Leasing opportunities on MTA property
The MTA’s Real Estate team leases retail spaces on MTA property. Spaces range from newsstands and cafés to bookstores and full-service restaurants, in locations from Grand Central Terminal to subway stations and commuter rail stops. The Real Estate team also leases and licenses parking lots and industrial space, as well as rights-of-way for telecommunications and other utility installations. To learn more, click here.