MARTA recently announced its plan to create “walkable developments” around its Arts Center station and Oakland City station. The dense, pedestrian-friendly villages appeal to corporations when they are looking for a location for operations. If workers can easily walk to public transit, it saves time and money for both the worker and the corporation. Similar to the Lindbergh Center station, MARTA will sell or lease the property at the rail stations to developers who will build villages that attract transit riders. MARTA hopes to create such communities for 11 of its 38 stations.
Deals are complete or nearly finished already for King Memorial, Avondale and Edgewood/Candler Park stations. Columbia Ventures and Decatur Downtown Development Authority are joining together to build apartments, condos, affordable senior housing units and retail, and possibly a grocery store in the area surrounding the Avondale station. Invest Atlanta and Columbia Ventures are redeveloping the Edgewood/Candler Park station into about 400 apartments, 20,000 square feet of cultural space, 10,000 square feet of retail and a public park. Final negotiations for both stations are underway and construction is expected to begin by early next year.