Potential Economic Benefits of the Trail Extension to Sarasota County

by Andrea Seager

Friends of The Legacy Trail has examined numerous economic impact studies of multi-use recreational trails around the country.  Below are three studies we feel have adequately examined:

  • Day use and tourism impacts,
  • Long term impacts to adjacent property values, and
  • Job creation and taxes returned to cities off of these impacts.

The High Line Trail in New York City and Katy Trail in Dallas are completed, short urban trails.  The Underline in Miami is a study of the projected impacts of a 10 mile urban trail, similar to the Legacy Trail Extension.

High Line, New York City

  • 5 miles, 22 city blocks, derelict elevated freight line
  • Cost $260 million to build
  • Initial projections:
    • Will increase city tax revenues by $250 million over 20 years
    • Will attract 400,000 tourists per year
  • Actual results:
    • Increased city tax revenues $900 million per year
    • Attracts 4 million tourists per year
    • Has attracted $2 billion in new economic activity
    • Real estate values double one block away; 75% higher than rest of downtown Manhattan

Dallas Park System

  • Trails generated highest ROI of any park typology over 50:1 in last 18 years.
  • $23 million in capital investment to build the 3.5 mile Katy Trail has resulted in $907 million in park-oriented development

Miami’s Underline (projected impacts)

  • 10 mile corridor under an existing commuter rail line
  • $110 million -$120 million cost to build
  • Over $170 million total economic output from construction
  • $48 million in economic output from operations annually
  • $6-10 million in annual incremental tax revenues
  • 1000 construction related and 400 permanent jobs



https://web.mail.comcast.net/service/home/~/?auth=co&loc=en_US&id=876824&part=2   (see pages v and vii)

https://www.theunderline.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Miami_Underline_Economic_Impact_Study_FINAL.pdf  (see pages 3 and 4)