Developers building on bike trend

It has been known for years that the location of public transport routes plays a major role in the location and pricing of property. Now the rising role of bikes for transport is having the same effect.

There is even a word for it in the United States—BOD—bicycle oriented development.

Developers in the US like a BOD. They say a BOD development sells and leases faster and at higher prices and rents.

And another advantage is that a BOD can be located in areas away from, but within rideable distance of central cities, that otherwise might have been difficult to bring to market.

These developments are usually close to popular commuting bike routes that offer quick and convenient access to major employment centres such as CBDs, universities and hospitals.

Additionally they offer extra amenities, bike parking obviously, but also bike maintenance rooms with bike stands, mechanics tools, other supplies and even bike wash rooms.

Apartment block names such as Bici and Spokes show that the developers are homing in on a new market.

At the new 363 unit Spokes apartments in Chicago, developer Rob Bond says: "As cities create and improve bikeways, the definition of transit-oriented is expanding to include more than just buses and trains”.

"Even when our plans for Spoke Apartments were just beginning to take shape, we could see from the bike traffic along Milwaukee Avenue how valuable this location would be for appealing to cyclists, an audience that just continues to grow."

And developer Randy Fifield who is building a complex a block away says: “Access to bikeways and trails are data points we take into consideration when planning new developments.”

“Bikeways make city living easier with increased safety for riding and connections to the great experiences offering by the neighborhoods situated along those routes,” she says.

Even for existing owners in an area, properties benefit when there is good bike infrastructure provided.

A study of homes in and around the Monon bike trail in Indianapolis revealed an 11% increase in the prices of homes with the trail near them in comparison with a second, identical home in the same area without a bike path outside.

And it is not just all about the commuting.

Residents value bike friendly neighbourhoods for a number of reasons:

  • the streets tend to be calmer and safer for pedestrians
  • the paths provide recreation opportunities for busy people to de-stress
  • there are more places for children to get outdoors and play
  • good landscaping the makes the locality look better

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