The North County Transit District (NCTD) announced the award of $240,000 from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) pilot program for transit-oriented development planning to advance NCTD’s development efforts at the Escondido Transit Center.
This funding will study the feasibility of exchanging parcels of land with the city of Escondido near the Transit Center to enhance the amount of developable land at the site, according to the agency's news release.
“This study is a critical aspect to maximize the benefits of transit-oriented development in Escondido,” said Matthew O. Tucker, NCTD executive director. “Strategic redevelopment of land near NCTD’s stations is an opportunity to create vibrant places that improve mobility, generate organic ridership, and bring community benefits such as increased housing, new commercial and retail opportunities, and the creation of world-class public spaces.”
Currently, the Escondido Transit Center is separated from downtown Escondido by parcels of land largely comprised of industrial buildings. This creates a barrier between transit and jobs, leisure activities, grocery stores, and other goods and services present in downtown and the surrounding areas to the east, according to NCTD.
Through the potential exchange of land near the Escondido Transit Center, NCTD said it can connect transit with downtown Escondido and increase the amount of housing and amenities at the site. This study and the redevelopment will make improvements to better connect NCTD’s BREEZE and SPRINTER, as well as other modes operated by NCTD's regional partners, to increase multimodal accessibility and pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
“We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with NCTD by exploring how we can increase transit and redevelopment opportunities within Escondido’s Gateway Transit area,” said Julie Procopio, city engineer for Escondido.
The total study will cost $300,000. NCTD and the city of Escondido will provide the remaining $60,000. This study will occur concurrently with a Request for Proposals to redevelop the Escondido Transit Center, which was recently advertised in October.