By John Ruch
MARTA has selected a team of companies as the finalist to create a mixed-use development at its Bankhead Station.
The team includes New York-based Peebles Corporation and Exact Capital, and Buckhead-based Bolster Real Estate Partners and Third & Urban. MARTA’s Board of Directors on Oct. 13 voted to begin negotiations with the team.
No detailed plans are public and MARTA says it is too soon to know a construction timeline. However, MARTA says the plan includes 495 multifamily housing units, a hotel, and office, retail and “workshare” space, plus over an acre of open space. For the housing, 148 of the units would be priced at rates affordable to households earning 80 to 120 percent of the area median income, essentially meaning middle-income, but measured by the local ZIP code rather than the typical regional measurement that is much higher.
Bankhead Station is the western terminus of the Green Line rail service. Located at 1335 Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway at the Gary Avenue intersection, it has about 5.5 acres of land for redevelopment. The project also includes the right to build atop the station.
The station is in one of the city’s most rapidly redeveloping and gentrifying areas. Microsoft is planning a massive corporate campus called Quarry Yards next to the station. Nearby are the new Westside Park and the route of the Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside Trail.
Described by MARTA as “one of the largest minority-owned real estate development firms in the country,” Peebles is involved in such major projects as a new skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles. Exact Capital is involved in regional affordable housing projects, including an apartment building proposed on the BeltLine’s Southside Trail in Peoplestown. Third & Urban specializes in the adaptive reuse of older buildings; it is also part of the team behind a controversial Little Five Points/Candler Park proposal that would demolish the Star Community Bar.
MARTA sought bids for the Bankhead project in February as part of a system-wide push for transit-oriented development that typically involves an affordable housing component. Most recently, the transit agency solicited bids for redevelopment at Midtown’s Arts Center Station and marked completion of a multi-phase development at Edgewood/Candler Park Station.
Besides this project, the station is also pegged for a makeover that would extend its platforms for higher-capacity train cars, among other changes. The Georgia General Assembly last year approved a $6 million appropriation for the project with an eye on the Microsoft project next door.
Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled the name of Bolster Real Estate Partners.