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Development process and financial structure
First of all, we can see that the planning process and financial structure of joint
developments were more publicly-led and more flexible in the U.S. Although I studied three
joint development projects at downtown stations which are similar in that all projects were led
by public sector, these demonstrated different processes of development. By contrast, the
development processes of Japanese projects were mainly led by the private sector and were
somewhat rigid. However, it was common in the Japanese projects for local governments to
assist or guide the private sector in making plans and maintaining consistently with other
projects carried out by the public sector. Thus, public participation was limited to this, and in
that sense, the foundation of a non-profit organization for the Union Station project was
innovative in comparison with Japanese projects.
An another means of public participation for U.S. projects was federal grants to joint
development. While federal funds were poured into the three U.S. projects, the Oimachi Station
Building (OSB) was the only project among those in Japan to receive government funding.
This is partially because of the differences between the two countries in the profitability of joint
development at stations. As I mentioned in the previous section, the profitability of such
undertakings is one of the most important differences between the two countries.
In both countries, it might be difficult to share construction costs among several private
entities or between private agencies and private entities. In the U.S. projects, initial costs were
funded by means of various grants and subsidies; however, I could not find out what they used
as a basis for allocation. On the other hand, in the case of the OSB, there was a certain way of
allocating funds. This was in accordance with the physical share of the building. This
proportional cost allocation is a conventional way for a project which involves some entities that
share floor spaces within the project in Japan.