Lowcountry Rapid Transit – TOD Plan

SB Friedman is working as part of a consulting team led by HDR, Inc. to create a TOD plan along a proposed 26-mile bus-rapid-transit (BRT) line in the Charleston Lowcountry. Our role includes conducting a market assessment, projecting the impact of the BRT line on real estate development potential, and developing an affordability strategy to prevent displacement following BRT implementation.

The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester (BCD) region has grown rapidly in the last two decades. In an attempt to counteract growing pains associated with sprawling development and limited multi-modal transit alternatives, the BCD Council of Governments (COG) is seeking to implement a series of BRT lines, one of which would be 26 miles extending from the Charleston Peninsula through North Charleston and into downtown Summerville.

SB Friedman conducted a market assessment to project residential, industrial, office, retail and hotel development in the region and the BRT study area. These projections will serve as a baseline development scenario, assumed to occur without BRT improvements. We also analyzed the historical impact BRT has had on comparable communities, both in terms of shifting real estate development patterns and changes in population and employment growth relative to the broader region. In addition, we are conducting an analysis of the affordable housing inventory in the study area, which will include legally restricted and naturally occurring affordable housing. Based on the inventory and comparable project experience, we will assist in making policy recommendations that encourage affordability and prevent displacement following BRT implementation.

Results: SB Friedman completed the market projections and BRT impact analysis, which estimates the increase in real estate development within the study area should the BRT line be built. We are currently developing an affordable housing inventory and policy recommendations. A future phase of work will involve estimating the local infrastructure financing potential generated by the increase in development from the BRT.