Public-Private Development Strategy for Dhaka’s Mohakhali Bus Terminal

The World Bank is exploring the opportunity to leverage a public-private partnership to help develop a transformational mixed-use transportation hub in central Dhaka.


The Mohakhali Bus Terminal is a large transportation facility which utilizes more than eight acres of highly valued land in central Dhaka. With Dhaka’s unprecedented economic and population growth in the last decade and its proximity to desirable neighborhoods, the site has the opportunity to serve as a key transportation hub for North Dhaka—serving as an interchange for inter-city and regional buses, as well as future bus rapid transit planned for delivery in 2035. Mohakhali is well positioned as a catalyst to transform the neighborhood and Dhaka’s infrastructure. As part of the World Bank’s “Improving Private Sector Participation in Dhaka Public Transport” project, the site has the potential to leverage a novel public-private partnership for the first time, to support the funding and operations of a transportation facility at world-class standards.

To explore these opportunities and craft a strategy for Mohakhali that realizes the site’s potential, the World Bank retained HR&A to determine a market-supportable mixed-use development program that maximizes site value and while accommodating current and future transportation program.


HR&A provided the World Bank and the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) with a detailed assessment of the site’s physical existing conditions, a real estate market assessment for a variety of land uses, proposed a development program, and recommended a private-public partnership structure. First, HR&A conducted real estate market, demographic, and socioeconomic analysis to understand the site’s context and consulted with local developers and stakeholders to identify potential risks factors and opportunities. After developing an understanding of the mixed-use development that could be supported on site, the team developed real estate and program scenarios on the site’s publicly owned land to size the future revenues and the potential to support the terminal’s operating costs with the sale or lease of land and air rights. Finally, the team prepared a menu of potential partnership structures across both terminal operations and the proposed mixed-use private development, detailing roles and responsibilities for DNCC and private operations, along with estimated financial outcomes for each option. Implementation of these strategies will involve developing a roadmap of regulatory and institutional roadblocks and then identifying a critical path forward.


DNCC and the World Bank have begun implementing the next steps identified in the report, including meeting key municipal and national leadership and building broad consensus around the transformational potential of Mohakhali and the opportunities for private-public partnerships as a model for Bangladesh’s rapid infrastructure development.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Main Walk

Legacy Planning for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

HR&A advised on the development and implementation framework for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to secure the economic and community legacy of the 2012 London Games.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company, the quasi-governmental organization established to oversee the development and operation of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, invited HR&A to advise on key elements of a new implementation framework that would transform the 2012 Olympic grounds into a network of parks, recreation facilities, and small residential neighborhoods along the River Lea in East London. The Legacy Company sought to create a development framework that would deliver social, economic, and environmental benefits by catalyzing private investment, amenitizing the surrounding areas, and attracting diverse groups of visitors.

The master plan for the Olympic grounds organized five new neighborhoods with two signature parks, 6,000 units of housing, two miles of naturalized waterways, and a system of connections and neighborhood commons that include sporting venues, commercial space, and cultural amenities. Focusing on the 250 acres of parklands, HR&A analyzed best practices for development and activation of post-industrial and post-Olympic landscapes, and emphasized the ability of the parkland’s development parcels to drive property values.


After reviewing the Legacy Company’s previous framework and business plan for the proposed parks, HR&A assessed capital, operations, and management requirements, and identified the financial and organizational resources needed to build and sustain a dynamic park system on the former Olympic grounds. The firm helped develop new capital and operating budgets in-line with recommended strategies to ensure the landscape’s transformation into world-class park system, complete with a dedicated programming and stewardship framework to activate, manage, and maintain the public realm.


The Legacy Company incorporated HR&A’s recommendations to adopt a new perspective on the role of public-realm investment for successful real estate development. The Legacy Company restructured its budget and launched two design competitions, which resulted in award-winning parks and plazas designed by James Corner Field Operations and London-based Erect Architecture. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has received over 4.5 million visitors since its 2013 opening, and recently secured funding to develop a new culture and education quarter comprised of university campuses, additional space for the Victoria and Albert museum, and a 600-seat theatre.

Konza Shop Rendering

Konza Technology City Development Plan

HR&A created a business plan and implementation strategy for Konza Technology City, a proposed technology industry hub outside of Nairobi, Kenya.

Konza will be located on 5,000 acres in the Nairobi metropolitan area, along the A109 highway that connects Nairobi to Mombasa. When fully developed, Konza will help Kenya become a world-class center for the technology industry, achieve middle-income country status, and improve the quality of life for Kenyans. In partnership with the International Finance Corporation, and on behalf of the Government of Kenya, HR&A developed a business plan and implementation strategy for the first-phase development of the city to attract potential project developers, investors, and tenants.

HR&A led an international team across many disciplines including architecture, planning, engineering, and strategy consulting. HR&A identified anchors and market opportunities to be advanced in the development’s first phase, and strategies for financing upfront infrastructure costs. In addition, HR&A ensured that the master plan was rooted in a market-supportable program and phasing strategy. With support from the locally-based legal team, HR&A established a framework for the Konza Technopolis Development Authority, a special-purpose governance authority tasked with overseeing project implementation, developer attraction, the provision of municipal services, and ensure the long-term success and sustainability of the project.


HR&A continues to support the Konza Technopolis Development Authority and the Government of Kenya through the implementation of the City’s first phase of development, providing real estate and economic development advisory. We will assist in the structuring of the new development authority organization and lead the land leasing process, financial planning, and marketing and branding of multiple developments with the support from local experts.


Renderiong Toronto Waterfront - Lower Yong Precint

Revitalizing the Toronto Waterfront

HR&A advised Waterfront Toronto on real estate and economic development strategies to revitalize the Toronto Waterfront. Once completed, this $1.5 billion project will be the largest urban regeneration project in North America.

Waterfront Toronto was established to create a series of new development precincts along Toronto’s Waterfront defined by their high-quality urban real estate development and world class open spaces, and a signature public realm along the Toronto Waterfront. Established as the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation in 2001, Canada’s municipal, provincial, and federal governments committed public land holdings and $1.5 billion to create waterfront recreational amenities, new housing, and commercial spaces to support Toronto’s future competitiveness.

HR&A provided economic analysis underpinning some of the most significant infrastructure decisions in the Toronto waterfront lands.

HR&A assessed the feasibility and the economic benefits of naturalizing the mouth of the Don River, a $500 million capital project that will create new urban neighborhoods by flood protecting over 200 hectares of Toronto’s waterfront lands. In August 2010, Toronto City Council unanimously passed an Official Plan amendment for the Lower Don Lands and a new zoning by-law for the Lower Don Lands first precinct, the Keating Channel. HR&A has provided peer review resources for Waterfront Toronto as it pursues further business planning for this major capital investment.

HR&A studied the economic implications of altering Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway

HR&A produced the economic cost-benefit analysis for the Integrated Environmental Assessment and Urban Design Study of options to replace, improve, or remove a segment of the elevated Gardiner Expressway east of downtown Toronto. Additionally, HR&A helped to structure and organize an international design competition examining urban design implications of the alternatives.

HR&A supported master planning for a key privately-owned waterfront site.

For a critical site whose development will support the growth of the Toronto waterfront as a residential and retail destination, as well as the financing of future public infrastructure investment, HR&A collaborated with a world-class design team to create a master plan that will integrate retail and food and beverage uses with dense urban housing and a vibrant public realm. HR&A provided strategic development advice on master planning feasibility, land use regulation, financial sustainability, and the programming of open space and the public realm.

HR&A prepared a feasibility study and financing options for Canada Square, a new civic park on the York Quay site adjacent to Harbourfront Centre.

HR&A prepared a financial feasibility assessment, developed capital investment options, produced an ongoing operations model, and guided planning and design for the new park and complementary mixed-used development, including potential cultural, hotel, retail, and parking uses adjacent to the new park. The York Quay Revitalization project is currently funded and in the final design stage of development.

HR&A developed a maintenance and operations funding strategy for 1,100 acres of new parkland on the Lake Ontario waterfront.

Leading a team of experts, HR&A examined budgets and best practices from municipal park systems and signature parks throughout North America. Our strategy rested on development of significant new revenue sources, a capital preservation fund and a governance structure that identifies entities responsible for funding and/or maintaining the new world-class parks. Toronto City Council adopted HR&A’s strategy in November 2008.


Images Courtesy of:  City of Toronto