MARTA TOD Making Strides
By Amanda Rhein, Sr. Director TOD & Real Estate
When I joined MARTA just more than one year ago, our GM/CEO Keith Parker shared with me his vision of growing the agency’s transit-oriented development (TOD) program as a way of building our ridership, increasing revenues and enhancing communities.
Since then, our TOD program has been making steady progress with the support and guidance of developers, community advocates, government officials and business leaders. Here is an update on several of the TOD projects we’re working on:
MARTA’s Office of Transit-Oriented Development and Real Estate is excited to kick-off 2015 by announcing three new upcoming TOD opportunities at the Arts Center Station, Oakland City Station and Chamblee Station.
We continue to work towards our goal of having five TODs underway by spring 2015. Thus far, development partners have been selected for the following three stations: Edgewood/Candler, Avondale and King Memorial. We are pleased to report that the Federal Transit Administration recently provided preliminary approval for Avondale Station, including our progressive approach to replacement and shared parking. While there has been a delay in the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe solicitation, we are now moving forward with the re-release of the Request for Qualifications.
We are wrapping up our strategic planning process for the Office of TOD and Real Estate and eager to begin implementing the recommendations which include: hiring new staff, making organizational changes and introducing new technology.
Arts Center Station TOD
Based on responses received to the Request for Expressions of Interest for the development of the air rights, MARTA has determined that the Arts Center Station presents the best near-term opportunity for redevelopment.
Our staff will seek authorization from the MARTA Board to release a Request for Qualifications for the redevelopment of 6.2 acres of property in the first quarter of 2015. The property includes the station, a kiss ride parking lot and open space that will be conveyed to the awardee through a 99-year ground lease, air rights lease or other appropriate and mutually agreed upon transaction. The intent of this RFQ is to identify development partners to convert the entire property into a high-quality, mixed-use, transit oriented development, consisting of residential, retail, office and hotel components.
MARTA will release a Request for Proposals to those pre-qualified through the RFQ process in the summer.
Oakland City Station TOD
MARTA, in partnership with the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Regional Commission, hosted a community planning process for TOD at the Oakland City Station.
As part of the charrette process, a real estate market consultant and an architect were engaged to envision future development at the site based on community input and market realities. Mixed-income rental apartments were found to be the viable near-term development opportunity. In mid-2015 MARTA will seek authorization to release a Request for Qualifications for the initial phase of development at the station on the closed three-acre surface parking lot. Future phases of development at the site will occur on the northern parking lots and could include commercial uses.
Based on recommendations from the charrette, MARTA will seek community and City approval to rezone to mixed residential and commercial in early 2015.
Chamblee Station TOD
We are excited to announce the pending release of Lot 1 at the Chamblee Station. This 2.16-acre property is located in the City of Chamblee at the intersection of Peachtree and Chamblee Tucker roads.
Originally acquired for a park and ride lot, the surface parking lot has been closed since 2006.
The property is zoned Village Commercial and was identified as a TOD opportunity in the Chamblee Town Center Livable Centers Initiative Report.
MARTA will seek authorization to release a RFP for the redevelopment of this property in first quarter 2015.
Brookhaven/Oglethorpe University Station TOD
MARTA recently announced the re-release of a Request for Qualifications for the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe University Station TOD. MARTA determined that it was in its best interest to cancel the initial solicitation due to a discrepancy in the original RFQ between the requested information and the evaluation criteria.
The purpose of this RFQ is to solicit Qualification Statements from qualified firms capable of developing this 10.3-acre property into a high-quality, mixed-use, transit oriented development, consisting of residential, commercial and civic components.
Only pre-qualified firms will be invited to respond to the RFP, which will include a detailed development plan and a financial model that illustrates the potential economic return to MARTA. A copy of the RFQ can be downloaded, upon registration, from MARTA’s website. Responses are due to MARTA on Feb. 5, 2015.
In the meantime, please continue to share your suggestions on how we can work together on TODs to make our rail stations dynamic destinations that support healthy, thriving neighborhoods. You can reach me on Twitter at @MARTATOD1.