Joint development involves the development of a transportation project and adjacent complementary private real estate development where a private developer either implements the real estate improvement directly or gives money to a public sector sponsor to offset the costs. Joint development may involve public participation in market-oriented developments as a means to subsidize the cost of public transportation. There are generally two forms of joint development:
- Revenue-sharing arrangements - the public sector infrastructure provider receives a share of the revenue from complementary real estate development
- Cost-sharing arrangements - the private sector contributes directly to the provision or maintenance of the transportation infrastructure
Joint development is most common at transit stations. The public agency that either owns an asset or is undertaking an improvement may solicit the involvement of a private sector partner. Alternatively, a private enterprise that owns land or a building may seek to partner with a public agency to develop transportation enhancements that will benefit their property as well as the traveling public. Joint development projects are generally beneficial to both parties and may lead to increased revenue for real estate owners, decreased costs for operating or constructing public transportation systems, increased transit ridership, or enhanced amenities for transit riders. Common joint development arrangements range from air-rights development to ground leases (right-of-way use agreements), station interface or connection improvements, cost sharing arrangements, and incentive agreements. In addition to transit, joint development agreements have also been used in the implementation of highway improvements and parking projects.
Joint development may also involve public sector land-banking to prepare for transportation infrastructure construction, a public entity's sale of development or property rights in exchange for cash, or the public-private coordination of large-scale transportation and real estate developments. When joint development involves private funding of public transportation improvements, it is a form of public-private partnership.