Joint Development is the real estate development program in which WMATA collaborates with developers to build housing, office, retail, and other amenities on WMATA property, typically through ground lease. These development projects maximize its TOD program by directly linking transit customers to destinations and services throughout the Greater Washington Area.
All joint development activities are managed in accordance with FTA guidelines, as well as with WMATA's Joint Development Policies (published April 2018). The key principles that guide joint development for Metro include:
- Maintaining or growing transit ridership and enhancing customer safety and/or access
- Maintaining or enhancing Metro's ability to operate transit services
- Increasing farebox revenue, real estate proceeds, and other sources of revenue
- Mitigating financial risk to Metro
- Encouraging high-quality design that connects to the surrounding neighborhoods and communities
- Supporting or enhancing local economic development goals
WMATA's Joint Development Program Guidelines (published May 2020) and Station Area Planning Guidelines (published October 2020) walk through the process and criteria by which joint development projects are offered, evaluated, and approved. FTA's Joint Development Circular C 7050.1B (amended August 2020) provides further guidance on how FTA-funded real property can be used for joint development, which includes most of WMATA's property.