Real estate development in anticipation of the Green Line light rail transit in St. Paul

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

economics - subsidy, land use - impacts, land use - planning, land use - transit oriented development, mode - tram/light rail, place - north america


Building permit, Economic development, Land use, Rail transit, Transit-oriented development


Although previous studies have extensively explored the impacts of rail transit on economic development after its opening, few have examined its impact on real estate development before its opening. Using the building permit data of the city of St. Paul, this study investigates the effects of key announcements of the Green Line light rail transit (LRT) by employing location quotient analysis and difference-in-difference models to compare building activity in the LRT corridor and control corridors. We found that the announcement of preliminary engineering had no positive impacts on the count and value of building permits whereas the announcement of Full Funding Grant Agreement tended to increase the number of building permit by about 24% and the value by 80%. We concluded that LRT investment, in conjunction with proactive land use planning policies, public subsidies and public funded projects, increases building activity.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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