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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

MARTA looks to redevelop parking lot around King Memorial rail station

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MARTA's interested in developers' ideas about what to do with the parking lot alongside its King Memorial station.

The transit agency on Monday released a request for proposals for a development to be built around the transit station that borders the Old Fourth Ward. The 4.3-acre parcel, which is located just west of Historic Oakland Cemetery near Grant and Biggers streets, would be converted from commuter parking into a transit-oriented development.

According to the RFP, MARTA seeks mixed-use or single-use projects that potentially include apartments, condominiums, student housing, retail, or offices. They also hope that the right plan would "generate revenues to support MARTA's financial needs." MARTA CEO Keith Parker has made it a priority to see if the seas of parking lots that surround some train stations could be converted into mixed-use developments. The move would help fund the cash-strapped agency and provide a dedicated ridership.

Whichever firm MARTA selects, it'll need to ultimately increase ridership by promoting pedestrian and bicycle traffic between the development and the King Memorial station, which is currently separated by rail and freight tracks. In addition, the lead developer would need to collaborate with city officials and Oakland Cemetery representatives.

"The selected development team will be expected to coordinate its planning, engineering, and development efforts with appropriate representatives of Historic Oakland Foundation, the cemetery owner and the City of Atlanta," the RFP says.

It's not the first time MARTA has considered redeveloping the parking lot. Developers pitched mixed-use ideas in 2002 but the proposals never moved forward. In the more than 10 years since, the area has grown more dense with student housing and new activity along Edgewood Avenue.

A pre-proposal conference will be held at MARTA's headquarters on July 30 at 10 a.m. RFP's are due on August 15 at 2 p.m. The transit agency will then ask a select group of developers to submit formal bids.

Check out the complete RFP after the jump:

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