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MARTA-Owned Land Near Avondale Station: Decatur's Next Development Boom?

MARTA officials are in talks to potentially redevelop a six-acre site.

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, seeking to boost its revenue stream, is looking at developing land it owns around its train stations, including Avondale station.

The transit agency is in talks with Decatur Development Authority officials on the roughly six-acre MARTA land just south of the Avondale station, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported.

Avondale station, located at 915 East Ponce de Leon Ave., is one of five sites that MARTA leaders feel are ripe for development, the Business Chronicle reported.

The idea is still in the early discussion phases, but at least one development expert said it's a good strategy, particularly in Decatur, which is enjoying an investment boom.

An agreement between the city, which has been itching to redevelop that site for the better part of a decade, and MARTA could come as early as July.

"Avondale station is tremendous because Decatur right now is probably one of the hottest housing markets in the region,” Ken Bleakly, principal of the Bleakly Advisory Group, told the Business Chronicle.

Indeed, Atlanta-based Carter plans to redevelop a 2.5-acre site at 315 West Ponce de Leon Ave. and spend $40 million to build a mixed-use, high-end apartment complex and retail project.

Beyond the six acres owned by MARTA, Bleakly, which is advising MARTA, estimates there's some 62 acres of developable land within a quarter-mile radius of the Avondale station.

And because Decatur is so hot, it will be easier to finance developement projects, Bleakly told the publication.

“We think there’s a strong market to support the kind of rents and sales prices you need to finance the development," the Business Chronicle quoted Bleakly as saying.

bulldogger March 19, 2013 at 01:46 PM
So, is this the property directly across from the MARTA rail yard running along EPDL, and across Arcadia?, property that includes Newman's Auto Parts Junkyard and the building that houses Glasshoppers and the old Langley Transfer and Storage Business? and the old Universal Steel Plant that fronted on Grove Street before Arcadia was built? If i'm not correct in my assumptions, someone in the know, please tell me what property it is. Thanks!!!!!
InTheKnow March 19, 2013 at 02:02 PM
MARTA property fronting College Ave. - within Decatur city limits
Nick March 19, 2013 at 05:51 PM
Hey, bulldogger, can you give me/us a history lesson? Was Sams Crossing built at the time Arcadia was built? did Sams/"South" Arcadia used to terminate at E. College? (I'm looking at Google maps, I can see where Grove Street appears to have once been a continuous road from Sycamore to Grove Place). Thanks!
Tomathy March 19, 2013 at 06:59 PM
more empty high end apartments dragging down rent......
bulldogger March 19, 2013 at 11:12 PM
Hey Nick, as best as I remember, the original Sam's Crossing was done away with when the Avondale Marta Station was built. Approximately across and down the street about 200? feet from where the two story green house is on Sycamore Street housing a CPA Firm, Lawyers Office and another professional, was a row of buildings and in the first space was Armfield's Grocery and then a building supply store. There was a drive next to the building supply store and it ran down a little ways to a business that made attic insulation. That building was approximately where the retention pond is now at the end of the Marta parking lot. Sycamore Street started curving around about where Armfield's Grocery was located and went over the RR Tracks.....that was Sam's Crossing. Sycamore Street from EPDL and Sycamore Street coming from Glenn Street kinda came together and formed the street that went over the tracks.....not sure if that portion had a name. See next post.
bulldogger March 19, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Post continued. Growing up in the 1940's and 1950's, I never heard the name "Arcadia" used. Grove Street did indeed go from Sycamore Drive to Grove Place. Lockwood Terrace began where Grove Street now curves around into Lockwood. My family lived on the corner of Grove and Lockwood across the street from 102 Grove Street and if still there, would be in the middle of what is now Arcadia. In the back of our house was another house that fronted on Grove Street and next to it was the Universal Steel Company. Across Grove Street from the Steel Company was Langley Transfer and Storage and a company that made venetian blinds. An alleyway ran beside Langley's from Grove Street over to EPDL. All this was along time ago and my memory may be a little sketchy about the exact locations of everything. Hope I answered at least some of your question.
Nick March 20, 2013 at 12:46 PM
Thanks, bulldogger!!! That explains it poifectly!

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