The case of the disappearing parking lots: MARTA’s TOD projects

MARTA’s new transit-oriented development director, Amanda Rhein,talks about Atlanta’s upcoming TOD projects with Atlanta Magazine. King Memorial Station’s development could start construction early 2015! I’ll be happy to see these parking lots disappear and become walkable, transit-connected communities.

Here are the three TODs that have been announced:

1. Avondale Station

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"The developer will transform the 6.6 acre parking lot south of the station into a mixed-use, transit-oriented development. The plans call for 604 apartment units, 74 condos and 25,000 square feet of retail…"
Read more here…

2. King Memorial Station

"Walton Communities plans 386 apartments and 13,000-square feet of retail on about four acres next to King Memorial on Decatur Street, near Georgia State University, Oakland Cemetery and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic site."
Read more here…

3. Edgewood/Candler Park Station

"The transit agency recently announced it was seeking proposals to develop its parking lot on the southern side of the Edgewood/Candler Park station."
Read more here…

These projects, put together with the development along the Atlanta Beltline and the exciting things happening Downtown along the streetcar route, have the ability to help transform intown Atlanta into a place that grows primarily on alternative-transportation lines rather than in a car-centric way. Good urbanism.

A demand for Transit Oriented Development in Atlanta
A post on the Urban Land Institute site gives some highlights from that group’s recent forum in Atlanta. It looks like one prime topic of the forum was building better connectivity between our dense neighborhoods via transit.
A quote:

The panelists agreed that metro Atlanta must face up to—and deal  with—existing realities while also setting the stage for future growth  and development. There is pent-up demand for TOD, they said, which smart  developers and municipalities will begin addressing once the economy  improves.

I’m glad to know that there’s a realization of the need for more TOD in Atlanta. I just hope it extends to recognizing the need for it to be done well — in a way that creates an inviting neighborhood rather than a park-and-ride zone with housing/retail tacked on. For instance, I’m a little disappointed by the Lindbergh City Center TOD project around the Lindbergh Station, but I’m encouraged by what’s developing around the King Memorial Station.
Another good quote comes from Scott Condra, senior vice president with Jacoby Development:

… Atlanta was seeing the development of walkable mixed-use communities  like Atlantic Station. That development “has slowed almost to a stop,”  he noted. The original projects, he added, “were created as islands unto  themselves. But transit connections—getting from node to node to  node—are still missing.” The connections, he stressed, present an  opportunity for Atlanta as it emerges from the recession—and need to be  completed.

Very true. For projects like Atlantic Station to realize their full potential as walkable urban spaces, they need to have better transit connectivity with the rest of the city and exist less as islands.
Photo of Lindbergh City Center by Samuel Scheib

A demand for Transit Oriented Development in Atlanta

A post on the Urban Land Institute site gives some highlights from that group’s recent forum in Atlanta. It looks like one prime topic of the forum was building better connectivity between our dense neighborhoods via transit.

A quote:

The panelists agreed that metro Atlanta must face up to—and deal with—existing realities while also setting the stage for future growth and development. There is pent-up demand for TOD, they said, which smart developers and municipalities will begin addressing once the economy improves.

I’m glad to know that there’s a realization of the need for more TOD in Atlanta. I just hope it extends to recognizing the need for it to be done well — in a way that creates an inviting neighborhood rather than a park-and-ride zone with housing/retail tacked on. For instance, I’m a little disappointed by the Lindbergh City Center TOD project around the Lindbergh Station, but I’m encouraged by what’s developing around the King Memorial Station.

Another good quote comes from Scott Condra, senior vice president with Jacoby Development:

… Atlanta was seeing the development of walkable mixed-use communities like Atlantic Station. That development “has slowed almost to a stop,” he noted. The original projects, he added, “were created as islands unto themselves. But transit connections—getting from node to node to node—are still missing.” The connections, he stressed, present an opportunity for Atlanta as it emerges from the recession—and need to be completed.

Very true. For projects like Atlantic Station to realize their full potential as walkable urban spaces, they need to have better transit connectivity with the rest of the city and exist less as islands.

Photo of Lindbergh City Center by Samuel Scheib