TOD updates from MARTA and Santa Clara VTA

May 31, 2024
MARTA and Santa Clara VTA are working with developers to increase housing options near their respective transit systems.

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) are making progress on their transit-oriented development (TOD) projects. 


MARTA and DeKalb County, Ga., have advanced a TOD Master Plan for Indian Creek rail station on the East/West Line following approval from the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners to rezone the area to support mixed-use TOD. Rezoning the 64 acres that encompass Indian Creek Station to mixed-use high density-4 aligns with the community’s vision for TOD as outlined in the 2050 DeKalb Comprehensive Plan. 

“We are grateful for the support of the DeKalb County Commission and this vital rezoning designation,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Collie Greenwood. “This is a crucial step towards transforming Indian Creek Station into a vibrant community hub and we look forward to working with our partners to bring this vision to life.” 

“This project will significantly enhance community connectivity and access to essential services,” said DeKalb County Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson. “The TOD at Indian Creek is a key milestone in our efforts to create a more vibrant and inclusive community.” 

The TOD Master Plan aims to increase housing density with a focus on affordable housing, walkable areas that support multimodal transportation and incorporate parks and greenspaces to boost ridership and attract federal funding. Key elements of the plan include: 

  • 1,600 apartments 
  • 20,000 square-foot grocery store 
  • 20,000 square-foot community center 
  • 2,500 square feet of food and beverage space 
  • 300,000 square feet of office space 
  • Four acres of parks and greenspace 
  • 45,000 square-foot bus transfer facility 

MARTA notes community engagement for Indian Creek’s Master Plan has been robust, focusing on economic development, affordable housing, job creation and greenspace conservation. Stakeholders, including neighborhood organizations from Pendley Hills to Rowland Allgood and Durham HOA and groups with members from Lithonia to Avondale Estates, have expressed strong support through several organized workshops. 

Santa Clara VTA 

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has awarded $500,000 in Technical Assistance for Santa Clara VTA’s Great Mall and River Oaks TOD sites, with an additional $125,000 of potential funding for the Hostetter TOD site. 

MTC is the planning organization that coordinates between transit agencies in the nine-county Bay Area and disperses state and federal funding for planning projects throughout the region. In 2023, MTC launched the Priority Site pilot program, which seeks to support the development of affordable and mixed-income housing on underutilized land, including publicly owned sites and former malls or office parks. The program aims to provide pre-development funding and technical assistance for affordable and mixed-income housing developments located on properties designated as Priority Sites.  

Santa Clara VTA notes 21 of its TOD sites, including Great Mall, River Oaks and Hostetter, were designated as Priority Sites by MTC in 2023. 

The agency says the Technical Assistance awards will go towards site planning, initial design, due diligence, community engagement and solicitation support as it prepares the sites to be released to the developer community for proposals. The funding will support vitally important tasks to ensure that sites are attractive and well-positioned for future development, allowing Santa Clara VTA developer partners to create thoughtful, inclusive projects with substantial amounts of greatly needed affordable housing next to transit stations, increasing ridership, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and working to address the regional housing crisis. 

The agency says the three sites have a combined capacity of more than 950 housing units, including more than 200 affordable units for households earning 60 percent of area median income (AMI) and below. In 2023, 60 percent AMI is a household income of $107,040 or less for a family of four. 

The Santa Clara VTA Transit-Oriented Communities Policy, revised in 2024, requires that at least 25 percent of units in any housing development on its land must be affordable at 60 percent AMI and below and at least 40 percent of the units across the portfolio must be affordable at 60 percent AMI. Further, at least half of all affordable units must be affordable to households earning 50 percent AMI and below. The Transit-Oriented Communities program projects that at full build-out, Santa Clara VTA’s portfolio will generate millions of dollars in annual revenue from development to support transit operations. 

About the Author

Brandon Lewis | Associate Editor

Brandon Lewis is a recent graduate of Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lewis is a former freelance editorial assistant at Vehicle Service in Endeavor Business Media’s Vehicle Repair Group. Lewis brings his knowledge of web managing, copyediting and SEO practices to Mass Transit Magazine as an associate editor.