Can you put a price on living or working near a Metro station? According to some new research, you certainly can. In fact, even the difference between being 1 block from Metro, or a quarter-mile can have a large impact on the value of a property. An article in the Washington Post highlights this research, conducted by the real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield.
Looking specifically at the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, this concept manifests itself on a block-by-block basis. A property one-twentieth of a mile (264 feet) from Metro can command up to 30% more in rental or lease income compared to a similar property only 0.25 miles (1.320 feet) from Metro. At first glance, that doesn't seem like a huge difference. The article suggests walking 0.25 miles can take roughly 5 minutes, compared to only one minute to walk 264 feet.
What we are really valuing here is time - companies that choose to locate on top of Metro stations are betting that the premium they are paying for their lease will be offset by happier, more productive employees, with a higher rate of job satisfaction.
Thankfully, Arlington is a very walkable community, particularly in the carefully developed Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. A 0.25 mile walk from the Metro to the office is probably easier here than in a lot of other places. Does the walking environment factor into the premium? If the walk were more difficult, would the premium for locating at a Metro station be even higher?
How will systems like Capital Bikeshare impact these findings? Does the ability to easily ride a bike from the Metro to the work site lessen the perceived negative factors around walking? There are certainly positive impacts from walking 0.25 miles as well.
For me personally, my office is about 3 blocks away from the Rosslyn Metro. I walk uphill each morning. On most days, it is enough to work up a sweat. Today, it was enough to cover me in snow. Would my job satisfaction increase if I my office were closer to Metro? The real estate market seems to think so.
Photo: Newly constructed 1812 N. Moore sits atop the Rosslyn Metro station