Six months after MARTA picked a development team and lifted the cloak on what a transformed Bankhead station could look like, the transit agency is asking for public input before an official plan is finalized.

Two community sessions planned this month—one in-person, the other virtual—will help “frame the master-plan process” for transformative development around the last westbound stop on MARTA’s Green Line, per Atlanta’s transit agency.  

MARTA officials are inviting anyone who lives near the Bankhead station and other stakeholders to submit input they say is critical for “creating a successful vision for the community” as it pertains to the station's future. 

The in-person meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on April 11 at John Lewis Invictus Academy Auditorium (1890 Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway), followed by the virtual meeting at 6:30 p.m. on April 13. Registration details for both can be found here.

MARTA says the Bankhead station’s overarching goal is to weave together transit-oriented development with safer access and better connectivity to the surrounding area.

Broader context around the Bankhead transit hub today. Courtesy of MARTA

An early rendering depicting eastern views across the multi-pronged Bankhead station TOD, with the Proctor Creek Greenway's existing first phase pictured at bottom. Courtesy of MARTA

As is, MARTA’s Bankhead station is surrounded by surface parking and unused land in the 1300 block of Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway.

The redevelopment vision, as unveiled by MARTA in October, calls for 496 housing units—148 of them designated as affordable housing for anyone earning 80 to 120 percent of the area’s median income, according to zip code. Plans also call for retail space and a hotel, offices and sharable working spaces, along with more than 1 acre of open space around the new construction, MARTA officials said at the time.

Of course, that was all prior to bombshell news that Microsoft was shelving plans indefinitely for its ballyhooed, 90-acre campus next door. MARTA has been adamant that Bankhead station’s TOD makeover will proceed despite Microsoft’s decision to pull back.

MARTA’s board of directors in October picked Peebles Corporation—considered one of the largest minority-owned real estate developers in the U.S.—to lead the joint venture. Also included in the deal are local development firms Third & Urban, the company behind adaptive-reuse projects Westside Paper and Common Ground along the BeltLine, plus Bolster Real Estate Partners and New York-based Exact Capital.

The TOD would be a first for Atlanta’s Westside—with H.E. Holmes station not far behind, at the western end of MARTA’s Blue Line, where a similar community visioning process is ongoing.

Even without Microsoft next door (for now), the Bankhead TOD will still neighbor key drivers for growth, including the Proctor Creek Greenway in historic Grove Park. The city’s new Westside Park and segments of the BeltLine’s Westside Trail are within about a half-mile.

Should it come together as planned, redevelopment of Bankhead station will join other MARTA-led projects from Grant Park to Edgewood and Decatur’s eastern fringes that have transformed parking lots into multifamily housing and other uses. According to MARTA, the Bankhead TOD will consume about 5 and ½ acres on the ground, and the deal also includes air rights above the existing station.

Bankhead station falls within a Federal Opportunity Zone, which increases its chances of securing financial help at the federal level.

The Bankhead project is part of the billion-dollar MARTA 2040 plan approved by taxpayers in 2016. The scope includes extending the station’s platform capacity from two to eight train cars, on par with MARTA’s other stations. The Georgia General Assembly in 2021 chipped in $6 million toward the project to support the area’s economic development—which many perceived as an effort to also appease Microsoft.


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