Transit Oriented Development Spreads to the Suburbs

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is working on mixed-use development plans for a location near Kensington Station, in DeKalb County.

November 9, 2018, 6:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Mark Winfrey / Shutterstock

"MARTA is seeking a developer to build a mixed use project, complete with affordable housing, at its Kensington Station, which is located in eastern DeKalb County between Avondale Estates and I-285," reports David Pendered.

According to Pendered, the property's current zoning presents a "stumbling block" for the project. "The site is zoned for any of an array of single and multi family structures – detached houses, townhouses, apartments, boarding houses, group personal homes and nursing homes, even adult and child day care centers," writes Pendered. That's all residential, with no room for any of the office or retail uses that would make any potential project mixed-use.

Pendered also describes MARTA's lofty ambitions for the site. "The RFP notes that the Kensington Station is ranked as MARTA’s 12-busiest rail station. An average of 5,565 riders board at the station every weekday, according to the RFP. This level of ridership seems likely to support a fairly dense development adjacent to the station."

In a separate article, following up on Pendered's scoop, Sean Keenan presents MARTA's development plans as the latest in a series of suburban transit oriented developments along MARTA lines.

This month, developer Columbia Residential debuted a senior housing complex less than a mile from both the Decatur and Avondale MARTA stations, and the city’s economic development arm Invest Atlanta launched a $15 million fund specifically for transit-oriented development.

Elsewhere, the City of College Park has adopted the first-ever transit-oriented zoning district on the south side of metro Atlanta.

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