MARTA Changes Plans For Oakland City Development

Alison Guillory / WABE

MARTA has plans to build mixed-used transit-oriented development projects including apartments and shops near six of its stations, but it’s putting one of the projects on hold.

MARTA officials said it received only one proposal to redevelop land near its Oakland City stop. They said the plan included mostly affordable housing.

But last year, Oakland residents said they wanted mixed-use and market rate housing.

“We just want to make sure the project that gets implemented is the best project for the community in the long term and that we’re not just constructing a project in the near-term because that’s what’s viable today,” said Amanda Rhein, MARTA’s senior director for transit oriented development and real estate..

She said MARTA will wait until other projects, like Tyler Perry’s plan to redevelop Fort McPherson into a film studio and the Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside Trail, are completed before reopening the bidding process.

According to Rhein, MARTA expects to break ground this spring on two of its six transit-oriented development projects: at Avondale and Edgewood Candler Park stations.  

“For MARTA, we’re pursuing transit-oriented development to put the property that we own on our rail station into better use with the goals of increasing ridership, generating revenue to support our operations and improve service,” Rhein said. “We know now that having transit-accessible office space and retail space is increasingly important in order to attract new companies to the Atlanta area. We think that for the region it’s important because of our issues with congestion. It also helps with economic mobility by creating places that are transit accessible.”

She said the third project, at King Memorial station, has hit some funding challenges, but she expects construction will be ready to begin later this year.

Rhein said MARTA’s largest transit-oriented development project to date is in the cities of Brookhaven and Chamblee along the Gold Line.

The project will include about 15 acres on both sides of the station and requires a rezoning designation from the city of Brookhaven. MARTA is holding public meetings regarding that development and said it expects to break ground on that city of Chamblee project this year as well.

For the Lindbergh Arts Center, Rhein said MARTA is conducting a feasibility and cost analysis to see what can be built there.