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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

MARTA mixed-use fever continues, transit agency asks developers for Edgewood/Candler Park station proposals

Just weeks after announcing that it had selected a developer to turn the King Memorial station's parking lot into a mixed-use development that could raise revenues and fuel ridership, MARTA is turning its eyes toward another plot of asphalt on the East-West line.

The transit agency recently announced it was seeking proposals to develop its parking lot on the southern side of the Edgewood/Candler Park station. In addition to making sure the proposals jibe with MARTA's transit-oriented guidelines and city land-use and zoning plans, MARTA officials are reminding developers of recent visions for the property. Per the request for proposals:

The design team developed two visions for the Subject Property, each with similar features and concepts although both are unique. Both plans include mixed-use development containing green space and maintaining current MARTA bus operations as is. Both plans extend Lowery and Hutchinson Streets into the development, however additional street connections are recommended.

Concept A is the Pocket Parks concept. The Pocket Parks concept contains two 4-5 story mixed use buildings that are built around two separate parking garages. The project maintains the existing MARTA tower and escalators, but it develops covered MARTA bus bays under the eastern parking garage. The design maintains its focus on the concept of pocket parks, with a splash fountain park at the corner of Whitefoord Ave. and LaFrance St., a "Community Living Room" park between the extensions of Hutchinson and Lowry and Greenspace along the street frontage. A key component of this site is the development of a Transit Plaza where civic space and retail would be located.

Concept B is the Central Commons concept. The Central Commons concept contains three 4-5 story mixed use buildings that contain one main parking garage and a smaller below grade podium garage that is covered by a residential courtyard. The centerpiece of the development is a central community commons and an iconic MARTA tower built onto the existing MARTA Tower and escalator. This tower provides a key focal point for the development fostering a greater sense of "place." The Central Commons concept contains a smaller transit plaza than the Pocket Parks scheme and maintains the current MARTA Bus loading area. The Central Commons concept has garage access from Whitefoord Avenue.

Developers have until April 28 to submit their ideas.

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