Next generation Florida project includes streetcar
The plan for ‘Restoration’ is a more compact traditional neighborhood with its own transit system.
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Many streetcar lines were built in America in the early part of the 20th Century as part of development projects — transit paid for through the sale of homes. This has been called “development-oriented transit.” In the last decade, we have seen a revival of streetcar lines near urban downtowns — most built to spur economic development.
Now we have, perhaps, the first large-scale modern US greenfield development proposed with a streetcar. The plans for Restoration in Edgewater, Florida — approved by the municipality September 24 — include a 3- to 4-mile internal streetcar line estimated to cost about $10 million per mile. That’s much less than cities typically spend for a streetcar system, because the plan avoids many of the street closure and reconstruction costs associated with placing transit on an existing urban street, says Eliza Harris, project manager with Canin Associates in Orlando.
With 8,500 planned housing units, Restoration is close in size to Celebration in Orlando. It’s one of the biggest new urban projects ever approved, and certainly the biggest post-recession TND (traditional neighborhood development) planned to date. Planning for Restoration began prior to the housing crash, Harris notes, so it could be considered a holdover from another