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Developers Pursue Apartment Project Next To King Memorial MARTA

Rendering for the proposed TOD project at MARTA's King Memorial Station

A pair of multifamily developers are looking to turn transit-adjacent asphalt into transit-oriented development.

Place Properties and Russell New Urban Development, a division of H.J. Russell & Co., are spearheading an effort to develop a 305-unit apartment complex on top of a former parking lot adjacent to the King Memorial MARTA Station off Decatur Street and near the historic Oakland Cemetery, according to documents submitted to Invest Atlanta.

The developers are seeking to take ownership over the site from Invest Atlanta, the economic development arm for the city, according to documents. Invest Atlanta previously approved a $6M grant for the project derived from the Eastside Tax Allocation District.

According to the proposal, which Invest Atlanta is expected to vote on Thursday, the developers would set aside 98 units in the $65M project for those earning 80% of the area median income, or $63,360 a year. The median income of the area around King Memorial is $79,200, according to data from Fannie Mae. The project also would house 11,500 SF of retail and a 344-space parking deck.

City of Atlanta Chief Housing Officer Terri Lee

King Memorial is one of the MARTA stations the transit agency has targeted to promote mixed-income housing development on its property. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has made growing the city's affordable housing stock a priority in her administration, especially as the city is expected to grow from 498,000 to 1.5 million people in the next decade, the city's chief housing officer, Terri Lee, told a Bisnow audience earlier this week.

Residents in the southside of the city are spending upward of half their annual income on housing, Lee said.

“Housing affordability has become a global crisis,” she said. "People are not making enough money to be able to live in communities."