The first phase of Central Florida’s SunRail is on track to start running in seven months — and with that comes some opportunities for the business community. For one thing, the $1.3 billion passenger train would offer a new method of transportation to a workforce seeking jobs that right now might be too far. The first phase of SunRail runs from DeBary in Volusia County to Sand Lake Road in Orange County, and the next piece would continue from SandLake into Kissimmee and end in Poinciana.

“This really is an investment into our economic future,” said Tim Jackson, Florida Department of Transportation’s transit-oriented development lead consultant. “There’s about 100,000 employees who can walk to one of those stations. So if you’re one of those employers, the talent pool you can recruit from just expanded greatly.”

Additionally, state and metro Orlando transportation officials shared data during a SunRail event on Sept. 13 that revealed the developments near transit stations likely will generate high real estate values, known as a transit premium. Real estate values for properties surrounding its 12 stations are expected to be extraordinary, based on data from Houston-based real estate firm Hines, one of the consultants working on transit-oriented development plans surrounding SunRail stations. And better real estate values on existing property — some of which is now vacant — would generate more tax revenue for cities and counties and improve surrounding property values. Walter O’Shea, managing director of Hines, said a study of real estate values near transit stations showed premiums of up to 167 percent.

To date, SunRail has generated development and redevelopment interest at projects surrounding areas like Florida Hospital, Orlando Health, Lynx Central Station and Church Street Station. But there’s plenty more being planned in areas like Longwood, Lake Mary, Sanford, Maitland and Sand Lake Road.

Korr Realty is conveniently located one block from Lake Mary, FL new SunRail station.

By the numbers

Maximum premium on real estate values created by proximity to commuter rail stations:

167%: For retail centers

120%: For office buildings

45%: For apartment complexes

32%: For single-family homes

Data Source: Hines

Article: Orlando Business Journal


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