— The Driver Behind Public Transit’s Transformation in Atlanta : Keith Parker took over one of the most beleaguered and least loved transit systems in America — and almost instantly reversed its course | Government Technology, 10/7/2014
Things are about to get real when it comes to transit-adjacent development in Metro Atlanta. Demolition of the 162-acre GM plant begins this month and, according to an article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the space could become 20 blocks of mixed-use buildings, all next door to the Doraville MARTA station (just northeast of the City of Atlanta).
[There’s a cool recent article on the background work done to allow this project to take place — it’s a nice read.]
The ABC article points out that there’s a significant hurdle to overcome in regard to transit connectivity: creating a pedestrian bridge between the project and the Doraville MARTA station. The bridge would overpass a wide stretch of freight rail infrastructure.
At least one person is confident that a deal will be reached to build the bridge. Here’s a quote:
If negotiations are successful, the pedestrian bridge would link the Doraville MARTA station to the GM redevelopment, a huge draw for developers seeking to add a rental housing around the site. The bridge would help residents connect by rail to existing job centers in Buckhead, Midtown and downtown and be linked to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
“We’ve been working on this site, along with Doraville, for a decade, and we will continue to work with them,” [Dan Reuter of the Atlanta Regional Commission] said. “This can become the biggest transit-oriented development site in America.”
If all works out, this Doraville project has the potential to one-up Midtown Atlanta’s Atlantic Station. A similar redo of a closed large facility (the Atlantic Steel site), Atlantic Station’s site cleanup was aided by federal funds that came attached with an unfunded mandate to provide public transportation — which so far has consisted of a relatively low-capacity shuttle bus service.
This Doraville site, however, would see the development of 20 new city blocks with a close connection to high-capacity rail transit. That’s big.