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More MARTA – Rail service will pick up the pace

Dan Whisenhunt | Decaturish

Starting next month, mass transit users are going to be seeing more of MARTA’s rail service.

MARTA spokeswoman Saba Long said that the changes to rail service will begin on May 19. Long said during peak hours on weekdays – 6 am to 9 am and 3 pm to 7 pm – customers won’t have to wait as long to catch a train.

“Customer wait times will be reduced to five minute headways on the trunk (before the lines split) and 10 minute headways on the branches,” Long said in an email. “This will occur on the Red and Gold lines from the Airport to Lindbergh station and on the Blue and Green lines from Ashby to Candler Park.”

Service will also become more frequent from 9 am to 3 pm, she said.

Undated photo from Itsmarta.com
Undated photo from Itsmarta.com

“Service will be every 12 minutes on each of the lines with a frequency of six minutes on the trunk,” Long said.

Long said that there are also some planned maintenance projects on the horizon. To make sure increased frequency of service doesn’t conflict with these projects, most of the work will happen on the weekends, she said. She said the trains will continue to operate every 20 minutes per line, but that could be pushed back to every 24 minutes, “when necessary.”

The transit agency has been stepping up its game in recent months. The agency’s board of directors recently agreed to enter into negotiations with the city of Decatur Development Authority for a “transit oriented development” around the Avondale MARTA station. MARTA is also moving forward with a transit oriented development around the King Memorial Station. These developments will combine housing and retail combined with easy access to MARTA’s rail service.

“This activity is seen as revenue enhancement initiative,” Amanda Rhein, senior director of transit oriented development for MARTA, said in March after the MARTA board voted to approve the negotiations. “It’s also important as improving the image of MARTA.”

Progress – MARTA, Decatur to develop Avondale station

Dan Whisenhunt | decaturish.com

MARTA’s board of directors has unanimously agreed to begin negotiations with the Decatur Development Authority to revitalize the area around the Avondale station.

The board authorized the negotiations on March 6.

MARTA and DDA have selected Atlanta-based firm Columbia Ventures as the project’s developer. Lyn Menne, Decatur’s Assistant City Manager in charge of Community and Economic Development, said the city recommended Columbia Ventures for the project.

Under the terms of the arrangement, 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, and the project will be completed in phases, according to Amanda Rhein, senior director of transit oriented development for MARTA.

Rhein said the transit agency will maintain ownership of the property and will enter into a 99-year ground lease with the DDA. Work could begin as early as next summer. Rhein said Columbia Ventures is applying for tax credits that will ensure that 20 percent of the units will be affordable housing.

“They would be prepared to begin construction prior to the award being announced, because they’re confident they’ll be selected,” Rhein said.

So if MARTA owns the property, why would the transit agency need to enter into an agreement with Decatur?

“We’re able to leverage their unique skill set in this process to move through it more efficiently,” Rhein said. “When you have the city as a partner, it ensures that the permitting process is more efficient so that reduces some of the risk for the developers.” {….}

Walton to develop MARTA’s King Memorial project

11 Alive

ATLANTA — MARTA has picked a developer to build a mixed-use project at its King Memorial Station, potentially the first of several similar developments around its train stations.

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.

The property is a parking lot that was being leased to Grady Memorial Hospital. Walton Communities would enter a ground lease with MARTA. The developer would take the next year to obtain financing and probably start work on the initial design, said Amanda Rhein, MARTA’s senior director of transit oriented development.

If the King Memorial project is successful, it could help spur more investment along the Decatur Street corridor east of Georgia State.

The university is already a catalyst for real estate development in the area. A few years ago, Perennial Properties wrapped up construction on the Pencil Factory flats and shops, also near Georgia State and the King Memorial Station. {….}

Atlanta Business Chronicle

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