Cousins, Jacoby, Russell vie for transit hub work

Some of Atlanta's biggest developers – Cousins Properties, Jacoby Development and H.J. Russell with The Dawson Co. -- are competing to build a mega-transit hub downtown for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The DOT asked for the proposals last year to oversee construction of a transit hub and manage surrounding development on a downtown site known as "the gulch," near CNN Center. Proposals were turned in Thursday.

The project would be one of the largest transit-oriented developments in the nation. The agency plans to enter into a public-private partnership in which the master developer will determine the station's design, development timeline, financing and overall management.

The idea is that the transit station could be funded from income generated by offices, residences and shops developed at the hub. No construction timeline is set.

The three competing teams consist of lead developers and advisors. They are:

*Atlanta-based Jacoby Development, with The John Buck Co. Technical advisors: Norcross-based Moreland Altobelli Associates, Perkins + Will, and SYSTRA Consulting.

*Atlanta-based Cousins Properties and The Integral Group, with FC Asset Services. Technical advisors: Atlanta-based Cooper Carry and Urban Collage, plus FXFOWLE, Kimley-Horn & Associates and Parsons Brinckerhoff.

*Atlanta-based H.J. Russell and The Dawson Co., with Hines. Technical advisors: HOK and URS Corp.

The list could be narrowed by Jan. 21, though DOT said all could be finalists if proposals meet established guidelines. A winner could be named by May.

Vance Smith, DOT commissioner, said Friday in a statement: "We are very excited that three high-caliber master developer teams submitted proposals for this project."

DOT considers the hub crucial to linking different modes of transportation. Terminals for Amtrak, Greyhound and MARTA currently are spread out. The hub could also serve future commuter or light rail.