MARTA Seeking Transit-Oriented Development Proposals at Bankhead Station

The Authority is seeking to transform the western terminus of the Greenline with mixed-income housing.
Source: MARTA

Last week, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) announced a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Request for Proposals (RFP) for Bankhead rail station, located at the western terminus of the Green Line.

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The Bankhead TOD RFP process will span the next few months, and started last week with a pre-proposal conference, a question and answer session scheduled for February 9, and full proposals due on April 13.

According to a MARTA statement, the State of Georgia’s recently allocated $6 million to assist in the transformation of the station in light of Microsoft’s decision to build one of its largest hubs nearby continues to reinforce the economic development potential, and the critical role transit plays in that growth.

The Bankhead TOD will be located on just under five-and-a-half acres of land at 1335 Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway. The rail station is adjacent to the Microsoft proposed 90-acre campus development and is a half-mile southeast of the newly opened Westside Park. Other nearby development includes the Atlanta BeltLine Westside Trail and the Proctor Creek Greenway in the historic Grove Park community.

MARTA also seeking a zoning change for the station, from Mixed Residential Commercial District 1 (MRC-1), Heavy Industrial District 2 (I-20), and Single-Family Residential District (RA4), to Mixed Residential Commercial District 3 (MRC-3), which is consistent with the zoning presented in the City of Atlanta’s Transit-Oriented Development Plan, which recommends that nine of MARTA‘s rail stations undergo a proactive rezoning to support higher density at transit stations.

Bankhead Station is in a part of Atlanta that is undergoing significant growth and land-use changes. Our rezoning efforts with the City and the station’s location within a Federal Opportunity Zone make this TOD an incredible opportunity to provide affordable housing and other community amenities convenient to transit,” said MARTA Interim General Manager Collie Greenwood.

The Federal Opportunity Zone Program supports economic development and job creation by incentivizing long-term investments in low-income neighborhoods. Bankhead Station’s location within one of Atlanta’s 26 such zones, combined with MARTA’s commitment to providing deeper affordability, ensures that 30 percent of residential units included in the TOD be made available for people earning 80 to 120 percent of the Area Median Household Income by Zip Code. The other rail stations located in Federal Opportunity Zones include Five Points, Vine City, Ashby, H.E. Holmes, West End, and Lakewood/Fort McPherson. 

According to documents prepared by MARTA, in response to community concerns over displacement caused by new growth in the region, MARTA and Morgan Stanley Community Development Finance and its Partner, the National Equity Fund, established a $100 million fund to preserve existing affordable units around heavy rail stations and the Atlanta Streetcar. Further, to bring more affordable housing and Federal Opportunity Zone capital to bear on new ground-up development of TODs, MARTA recently partnered with Goldman Sachs on a $100 million affordable housing TOD initiative. As a result, developers proposing the Bankhead Station TOD will have more options of capital sources for their proposed projects.

“This allows MARTA to deliver the housing affordability desired by the surrounding community and meet the City of Atlanta’s affordable housing goals as well as meet and exceed our own,” added Greenwood. “We are eager to see the proposals for this unique site as we undergo our own transformative work planned for Bankhead Station.”

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Source: MARTA

Dr. Anita Archambeau

Anita Archambeau, DPA AICP, is a freelance writer, adjunct professor, and consulting urban planner. She has over 25 years of community and economic development experience in local government. When she’s not working, you can find her exploring local craft breweries, walking her two beagles, or traveling to visit her adult children living in New York City and Minneapolis.

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2 Comments

  1. Rehabbing and promoting development around the existing station is great, but how about extending the Green Line up to Riverside – preferably to Bolton and Marietta?

  2. “MARTA’s commitment to providing deeper affordability, ensures that 30 percent of residential units included in the TOD be made available for people earning 80 to 120 percent of the Area Median Household Income by Zip Code.”

    Is “affordable housing” considered housing for people earning 1.2 times the average income for an area? You’re saying that MARTA is committed to keeping 30% of the units at a cost that would be HIGHER than the average income?

    How is that providing affordable housing… Seems like the stat should be “MARTA’s commitment to provided 80% of units at 30 to 70% of the Area Median Household Income by Zip Code.”

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