Transit-oriented project starts at Edgewood MARTA station

An Atlanta development group has started construction of the region’s latest high-density development at a key MARTA station.

Columbia Ventures said Tuesday it has started Spoke, a 224-unit residential community over a performing arts center and park at the Edgewood/Candler Park station on the eastside of Atlanta. Under system CEO Keith Parker, MARTA has expanded efforts to develop underused parking lots and other land near its stations to drive ridership and revenue while also helping reduce the impact of additional density on the region’s streets.

The real estate push has happened as metro Atlanta businesses and many residents are increasingly seeking locations near transit.

Site work at the Edgewood/Candler station, which is near the Edgewood Retail District and Little Five Points, started last week. Official ground breaking will happen this week, a spokeswoman for the group said.

MARTA also has projects in various stages of planning or development at the Chamblee, Brookhaven/Oglethorpe, King Memorial and Avondale stations.

Columbia said in a news release that it plans to open the first phase of Spoke in early 2018. The complex also will include a restaurant and headquarters for youth organization Moving in the Spirit. Future phases of the development are planned.

Columbia has entered into discussion surrounding the potential for nearly $2 million in tax breaks to set aside 10 percent of the units in Spoke as affordable housing. A decision is pending.

Dillon Baynes, managing partner for Columbia, called the project “the culmination of over 15 years of work in the Edgewood community” for the firm.

Columbia is also the development partner with MARTA for the Avondale station mixed-use community, which is expected open its first phase in 2018, according to a MARTA development timeline.

“Through the redevelopment of our underutilized parking lots we are creating transit oriented communities that drive community development and promote MARTA ridership,” Parker said in the release.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly listed the status of incentives for affordable housing. Those incentives are pending.