MARTA Celebrates Opening of King Memorial Transit-Oriented Development
Marchon Community Features Affordable Workforce Housing and Retail Space
MARTA, along with H.J. Russell and Place Properties, celebrated the opening of the King Memorial transit-oriented development (TOD) on Friday, May 20. The mixed-use TOD features Marchon, a community of 305 apartments and 11,000 square feet of office and retail space adjacent to King Memorial rail station and historic Oakland Cemetery.
“The pandemic prevented a groundbreaking event and we are excited to finally celebrate the opening of the King Memorial TOD and the Marchon community. This is a prime location near downtown Atlanta and one-third of the apartments at this development are affordable workforce housing convenient to transit,” said MARTA Interim General Manager and CEO Collie Greenwood.
The $65.3 million development sits on 4.4 acres of MARTA property on the northern edge of the historic Grant Park neighborhood and near the Old Fourth Ward that had previously been used for overflow parking.
MARTA’s Transit-Oriented Development Program is committed to re-purposing spaces such as this to provide much-needed affordable housing near transit and its amenities.
Over half the units at Marchon are leased, with the first tenants fittingly moving in on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday this year. Among the leased units, over 30 percent are workforce housing, allowing for income qualifications of 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).
“The need for centrally located, transportation-oriented and affordable housing is in high demand and short supply in metro Atlanta, especially within the heart of the city,” said H. Jerome Russell, president, H. J. Russell & Company. “Russell is always exploring creative ways in which it can incorporate affordability into these developments because providing affordable housing has been a core component of our company’s mission for 70 years.”
Marchon is the first phase of a ten-year development plan for the surrounding half-mile of King Memorial rail station that includes 911 additional living units and over 50,000 additional square feet of retail space.
“The King Memorial TOD, along with mixed-use transit-oriented developments with affordable housing at Edgewood/Candler Park and Avondale rail stations, and future plans for TODs at Kensington, Bankhead, H.E. Holmes, and Indian Creek stations, poise MARTA’s East/West line to transform from an underutilized transportation asset to a growth and equity supportive corridor,” added Greenwood.
Connecting King Memorial station to Marchon is the Grant Street tunnel which was recently adorned with 200,000 reflectors as part of an art installation organized by MARTA’s public art program Artbound. Reflection Tunnel, by artist Adam Bostic, makes an inviting and well-lit pedestrian connection for residents walking to the station to catch the bus or train.