MARTA strikes public-private partnership to build pedestrian bridge

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MARTA and real estate investment firm Simpson Organization finalized an agreement to build a pedestrian bridge connecting the Medical Center rail station to Peachtree Dunwoody Pavilion, which is being converted from a typical suburban office complex with acres of surface parking lots to a denser mixed-use development.

The agreement marks MARTA’s second project working with a private developer in the Perimeter market to provide direct transit access to a building. In 2017, MARTA worked with State Farm to connect its 8,000-employee southeastern headquarters to the Dunwoody MARTA station.

In recent years, MARTA — in response to demand from property owners for better connectivity — has been advancing transit adjacent development (TAD) opportunities. TADs are development or redevelopment projects on land owned by others, but adjacent to an existing transit station or bus stop. Upon completion, the redeveloped Peachtree Dunwoody Pavilion, now an existing office park situated on Peachtree Dunwoody Road in Atlanta, will be a 1.1 million square foot mixed use development consisting of office and residential space, a hotel, and parking space — all conveniently connected to transit.

A 2018 report from Cushman Wakefield, “The Growing MARTA Market,” reported that office rents at buildings within a half mile of a transit station were 24% higher than the overall Atlanta market. MARTA’s Office of Transit Oriented Development is leveraging private developers’ interest in development at and near MARTA facilities to increase ridership and contribute to the vibrancy of surrounding communities.

The redevelopment project began in early 2019. Construction on the pedestrian bridge will begin in June 2020, with completion anticipated in late September of 2020.