MARTA drives economic activity (with value capture potential) in Atlanta, GA


A MARTA train at the North Avenue Station.A MARTA train at the North Avenue Station. (Image: public domain)

A new report from Cushman and Wakefield, a real estate services firm, looked at the demand for office and residential properties within a half mile of Atlanta’s MARTA rail stations. In short, demand is “insatiable,” resulting a great deal of value in the land and new development that could be captured and put back into transit or used to fund affordable housing around transit.

With commercial space, office rents around transit is 24 percent higher than the Atlanta market as a whole and more than 60 percent of the new office construction in the region is within a half-mile radius of a MARTA station. On the residential side, multifamily rents in transit-oriented locations are 50 cents higher per square foot than the regional average. And over the last decade, the number of residential units built around transit has more than tripled growth elsewhere.

Overall the report indicates that MARTA drives $1.4 billion in economic activity each year and supports about 25,000 jobs. In a short video about the report, analysts say that companies see the proximity to MARTA as a solution not just for attracting talent, but also for dealing with what they believe are shortages in parking. This substantial interest in transit access is “breathing new life into a market that’s already mature.”

With planned transit expansion coming soon, it’s possible this increased value can be harnessed at least in part by the city or transit agency to address housing affordability concerns or support ongoing transit operations.

In the TOD resources library, a number of reports point to the economic development and value capture potential of transit and surrounding development. This includes reports from the Baltimore-Washington, DC region and on DART in the Dallas region. We also have reports that discuss the location decisions of businesses related to transit access.

Recent TOD news

Here are a few things that have been happening this week with TOD projects across the country.

  • FTA announces $25.8 million in competitive grants for TOD (Railway Age)
  • Milwaukee releases renderings of streetcar extension (Urban Milwaukee)
  • Students map out RI locations primed for TOD (EcoRI News)
  • TEXRail Line spurs mixed-use TOD (Bisnow)