Joe Pallant wants a Tri-Rail station in Wilton Manors. So much so that he might even be willing to pay more in taxes to get it.
Along with a possible raise in taxes, Pallant, a property owner through his insurance company, located in the city, suggested a grant could be used to help pay for the station.
“I don’t know the answer.” But Pallant said he’s sure of the benefit – increased business for local bars, restaurants and other businesses.
If picked, Wilton Manors would be one of the cities with a Tri-Rail station along the FEC railway. State officials want to create the Tri-Rail Coastal Link, an extension of what is currently operating west of I-95.
Right now, 25 stations are planned from Miami to Jupiter. Florida Department of Transportation officials hope to have those station locations picked by this Spring but no definitive answer is available yet.
If chosen, the Wilton Manors station would most likely be east of Dixie Highway and south of Five Points. Oakland Park could also be chosen for a station. If Wilton Manors is not chosen in the first round, it could be given a station in the second round.
A study touted by Reconnecting America, an organization that advocates for public transportation, showed a mixed bag in terms of positive and negative impacts on the area surrounding a train station. Businesses near stations saw a benefit because of the increased number of visitors. Depending on the proximity to the station, some commercial properties experienced an increase in property values while others saw no benefit. For residential, some properties experienced an increase in values while others saw a drop.
But station location may depend more on ridership and area density than any funding the city might provide. FDOT officials have stated that maximizing ridership will help the project obtain federal funding. The addition of Wilton Station and the Metropolitan, an apartment complex adjacent to the railway and now under construction, have improved the density of the area. Wilton Manors officials have also taken steps to make the area more attractive, including designating Dixie Highway as a Transportation Oriented Corridor.