Buxton's Retail Economic Development blog has a long post up exploring the potential of TODs in Southern California.
Simple…offer retail opportunities where they typically eat and shop. Not only can a community focus on retail that serves the customers that live in the trade area for the rail stop; there is the ability to find out what the riders look like as customers that pass through daily on the METRO. By understanding who the riders are coming through a city on a daily basis, communities can understand what specific retailers are looking for those customers that they currently have on their rail lines. These additional customers can help communities recruit retailers. Not only do they have a retailer's core customers living in the trade area, but those same core customers are also coming through on the rail line daily. Retailers want to see where their customers are and this is just another way for a community to identify and differentiate itself in the highly competitive world of retail recruitment.
Communities want to offer dining and shopping opportunities to their residents, however any additional methods to capture sales tax revenues should not be ignored. I am anxious to see if more of the cities I work with in Los Angeles County will have me exploring the retail trade potential of rail line developments in future projects.