By Rhonda White MARTA Media Relations Intern, Summer 2016
Dirt sprung into the air on Monday, Aug. 22 to celebrate the groundbreaking for MARTA’s Edgewood/Candler Park Transit Oriented Development (TOD). MARTA partnered with Invest Atlanta and chose Columbia Ventures to lead development. Columbia Ventures is calling the project “Spoke” because it represents the unique location and connectivity residents will receive within the Edgewood and Candler Park communities—this development will function as the spoke—or hub, for the two areas through housing, retail and mobility.
“This is the first in a new series of TODs that will be going up throughout our service area, and we are thrilled that this community will be the place where we rejuvenate this program,” said MARTA GM/CEO Keith T. Parker.
Parker, who kicked-off the event, noted the principles that help guide the agency on utilizing train stations to spur new growth by:
- Generating new ridership and enhance rider experience for current customers
- Strengthening communities – rather than looking for the highest bidder, MARTA wants to bring new development that benefits communities
- Producing funds that could benefit future MARTA projects and expansions
“If we’re going to grow into a global city, we’re going to have to do that by embracing transit, and this partnership is an important step in that direction,” said Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell. He grew up in the area and reflected on years ago when partnerships like the Edgewood TOD did not seem possible.
Atlanta Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong noted the resources and investments growing within the Edgewood community. “It’s only fitting that MARTA’s second TOD is here.”
The Edgewood Retail District, another mixed-use development in the area, is walking distance from the TOD location. People in the area will be provided with numerous opportunities and amenities for a complete urban experience.
Accompanying the day’s speakers was Darion Thompson, an alumnus of Moving in the Spirit, the nationally recognized youth development program that uses the art of dance to educate, inspire and unite young teens to become compassionate and successful leaders. Cellist Okorie Johnson provided the music as Darion performed “Mind Your Steps,” which celebrates the TOD and its power to level the playing field for Atlantans everywhere. Spoke will include a new space for Moving in the Spirit.
Edgewood/Candler Park is MARTA’s second TOD since Lindbergh Center City Station, which is home to MARTA headquarters. TODs help increase ridership, generate revenue and support both local community development and regional economic development. Forthcoming TODs include Chamblee, Avondale and Brookhaven/Oglethorpe Stations.
To learn more about updates and other exciting changes coming to MARTA, connect on Instagram @MARTA_explorer; Twitter @MARTAService and Facebook at @MARTAtransit.