The group led by adaptive reuse architectural firm Smith-Dalia and including Center Forward, local artist HENSE, Gabler Youngston Architectural Lighting Design, and Sylvatica Studio, have called for adding color and light to the circa 1980s stations and making room for pop-up shops, shipping-container cafes, and public art (static or participatory), among other improvements. The team also identified capital improvements that could be built in phases.
"The idea is that this wouldn't all be done at once but, as we're successful in raising funds, you do it in zones," says Kevin Green, the alliance's CEO and president. "People see what we can achieve and want to see more of it."
The total project, Green says, would cost around $11.6 million. The Arts Center station would be the most expensive, at around $4.8 million. But the three-acre stop is also the largest.
"I think people are pretty amazed at what can be achieved for that kind of money," he says. "How many billions of dollars would it take to replicate these stations today? It's like you're still driving your 1981 Buick and it needs bodywork and a better radio."
The project is part of the alliance's push to continue boosting pedestrian and transit accessibility in the already walkable neighborhood's core. In a recent survey, Green says, its members pegged those two areas as most important priorities. Two-thousand workers, residents, and visitors queried this past spring said the same. More than 95 percent of Midtown's commercial and residential buildings are within a six-minute walk to a MARTA station.
Keep in mind that nothing's set in stone just yet. Greene says conversations are beginning and hopes they get a "good start" this year. Officials will continue working with the city and MARTA about the potential fixes, will review and tinker with the proposals, and secure funding needed to start the multi-phase projects.
"A lot of different strategies must be pursued," he says.
After the jump, renderings of what the team has proposed for each station.
ARTS CENTER STATION
NORTH AVENUE STATION
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