Saint Louis Arch-to-Park Greenway Assessment
Mass Economics, in partnership with Noell Consulting Group, evaluated the economic impact of eight potential new greenway routes through Saint Louis from Forest Park to the Gateway Arch, ultimately recommending the optimal route with respect to overall investment, local and regional job creation, property values, and city fiscal conditions.
To evaluate the development potential along the new greenway, the project team first performed an on-the-ground vacancy, building, and parcel activity survey of over 1,500 parcels. The team then analyzed the socio-economic, demographic and sub-market real estate trends for each proposed greenway route. Informed by the survey findings and analysis, the project team estimated development timing for parcels within 200 feet of the greenway routes. Using parcel attributes (e.g. vacancy, site and building sizes), assessor data (e.g. value of land), and land requirements and development costs for fifteen specific uses and built forms for three different real estate sub-markets, the project team evaluated what specific uses were physically and financially viable on each parcel, with and without subsidies.
After identifying feasible uses and parcel development timing, the project team incorporated economic and fiscal data to create a dynamic model that matched parcels to viable uses and measured the real estate, job and wage (both direct and induced), and tax impacts for the eight potential greenway routes. The team created five development scenarios that maximized priority metrics (e.g. high density, new residential construction, low subsidies, etc.). Using these five scenarios, the project team evaluated and ranked the eight potential greenway routes. With the project recommendations, Arch to Park and its partners organized an international design competition for the Chouteau Greenway, with the winning design team to be announced in June, 2018.