MARTA and partners move forward on King Memorial Station TOD construction

Dec. 27, 2019
The construction finance closing marks the beginning of community development and affordable housing efforts.

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority’s (MARTA) development partners for the King Memorial Station transit-oriented development (TOD), Place Properties and H.J. Russell Company, have closed on financing to begin construction.

With $6 million in grant funding from Invest Atlanta, the $62.5 million project is a collaboration that will create 100 affordable housing units of 300 total units and complement development efforts occurring along Memorial Drive and the surrounding historic community. 

“The King Memorial Station development will offer affordable housing alongside the public transit-focused lifestyle TOD seeks to facilitate,” said Jeffrey Parker, MARTA general manager and CEO. “We are excited about the partnership with Place-Russell and Invest Atlanta. With one-third of the units being affordable, we have been deliberate about supporting the mayor’s affordable housing goals.”

Located on approximately 4.4 acres of underutilized parking space on the south side of the station, the King Memorial TOD, which seeks to increase riders at a station with the second lowest ridership system-wide, is a part of MARTA’s broader TOD initiative. The development plan also includes ground floor retail and an arts project for the Grant Street Tunnel. 

“We’re going into the new year with the prospect of bringing 100 affordable housing units and 10,000-square feet of retail space to the King Memorial Station. That’s exciting,” said H. Jerome Russell, president of H.J. Russell & Company.

Cecil Phillips, Place Properties CEO, added, “This is a transformational development for MARTA and this part of the city. It is indeed a project that we can all be excited about.”

The site is conveniently located between the neighborhoods of Old Fourth Ward, Grant Park, downtown and Cabbagetown. The station, just two stops from downtown Atlanta, is in the historic Grant Park neighborhood and due west of Oakland Cemetery. The station serves the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and Ebenezer Baptist Church. It is approximately three blocks south of the Atlanta Streetcar.

“Adding affordable housing along Atlanta’s transit lines is a key part of economic mobility by providing easier access to employment centers and reducing transportation costs for more city residents,” said Eloisa Klementich, Ph.D., president and CEO of Invest Atlanta. “On average, 63 percent of a family’s income is spent on housing and transportation. Making an impact on this through transit-oriented development like at King Memorial station helps to drive investment while decreasing a family’s spending, allowing them to focus on other family needs.”

This marks the second multifamily development project financed this year on MARTA land with set aside for affordable housing. The Link development at Edgewood-Candler Park station was the first.