Groundbreaking for Avondale MARTA development is Nov. 28

Although construction won’t actually begin until December, MARTA is holding an official groundbreaking Nov. 28 for the long-awaited development in east Decatur, now called East. This is a joint project between MARTA, Decatur and developer Columbia Ventures covering 7.7 acres of the old MARTA parking lot south of College Avenue.

There have been some recent tweaks to the project according to Columbia’s Managing Partner Dillon Baynes. The mixed-use layout now includes a central parking deck, and designers have settled on 345 market rate apartments and 95 affordable senior independent living units. Though no tenants have been announced, there’s also a projected 22,000 square feet of retail/restaurant and maybe some office space.

Construction on phase one will probably last 22 months. The much smaller phase two includes developing the northeast corner of the property though it’s still undetermined what will go there.

Baynes said he remains optimistic that an Early Childhood Learning Center will be built along Sams Street towards the end of phase one. It’s anticipated that a City Schools Decatur facilities committee will make a recommendation to the school board in December regarding a new ECLC.