The East End District is a special district southeast of downtown Houston. It is about 16 square miles and is divided by the Houston METRO Green line that runs northwest to southeast along Harrisburg Boulevard. TGC was hired by the East End District to come up with a strategy to win federal discretionary funds to execute a 40-year capital lease for the use of 250 public parking spaces along the METRO Green line that would be used by METRO rail and transit riders.
The project is a good example of a TGC public-private partnership. In 2017, a private property owner along Harrisburg submitted an unsolicited proposal to lease parking spaces for transit use. This property owner needed to build a garage to support non-profit office space and had the opportunity to construct additional parking. The value-add to the East End District was that it could execute a capital lease and acquire use of public parking for a period of 40 years without having to incur the costs associated with land acquisition and design. Furthermore, the East End District would not be responsible for maintenance and operations costs under this approach.
The project was complex because it involved multiple partners with various objectives and priorities. TGC activities included facilitation of political support for the project; targeted advocacy and coordination with East End staff; facilitation between Houston METRO, the East End District, and the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO); review and update of technical materials including the parking demand analysis and parking price analysis; development of the grant application package and supporting materials. Our strategic approach and technical expertise ultimately earned the project $5 million in CMAQ discretionary funds.
TGC’s public-private strategy will save the East End District millions of dollars over the conventional development approach of land acquisition, design and construction and will result in a compressed timetable for facility development. Finally, the project is anticipated to provide a multi-modal transportation option for commuters, resulting in cost savings for the general public through decreased parking rates.