MARTA says a community-driven master-planning process for redevelopment of one of the agency’s oldest train stations is yielding favorable results, but time is running out for Atlantans to chip in their 2 cents.
The transit agency is putting a stronger emphasis on local input—more than with other recent transit-oriented developments across the system—to re-envision 22 acres around the H.E. Holmes station in west Atlanta, not far from Interstate 285. MARTA announced in January its goal is to create “a diverse mix of land uses” with “new neighborhood centers” from a property with dated facilities and more than 1,400 free parking spaces today.
In addition to launching an interactive website and online survey (now closed), MARTA hosted two virtual community sessions last month to gather feedback on the H.E. Holmes TOD master plan. Nearly 200 people signed up, and “robust discussions” about MARTA’s westernmost station ensued, according to agency officials.
MARTA presented three potential layout ideas for a remade H.E. Holmes station, and public opinion in general leaned toward higher density housing and communal greenspace in strategic locations, along with an array of sports offerings for youth.
“Attendees resoundingly expressed the need for higher quality retail such as a grocery store,” MARTA officials stated in a press release today, “as well as improved infrastructure such as better sidewalks, street lighting, and roads.”
Opened in 1979, H.E. Holmes station, also known as Hamilton E. Homes, is the last western stop on MARTA’s Blue Line, offering both local and regional bus connections. It’s one of five stations MARTA pinpointed last year—from Bankhead to Brookhaven and Stone Mountain—as being ripe for redevelopment to create more active uses.
MARTA’s H.E. Holmes project team plans to incorporate earlier feedback into design concepts and present those at a final community meeting scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. March 28 at the C.T. Martin Natatorium & Recreation Center. At that meeting, MARTA says a draft recommended site layout will be unveiled and more public feedback will be gathered before the team compiles a final master plan.
The next step for MARTA will be taking the finalized plan through the City of Atlanta’s rezoning process.
The agency would then solicit proposals from potential developers, similar to the process for MARTA’s Bankhead station last year that culminated in the selection of a development team in October.
H.E. Holmes station is named for Dr. Hamilton Earl Holmes, an Atlantan celebrated for desegregating the University of Georgia, alongside Charlayne Hunter-Gault. Redevelopment of the agency’s westernmost station would join other MARTA-led TOD projects from Grant Park to Edgewood and Decatur’s eastern fringes that have transformed parking lots into multifamily housing and other uses.
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