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Potential Impact of MARTA changes on Atlanta’s Commercial Development


EpiCity has had a hand in Atlanta’s commercial development for 81 years. In that time we’ve see the commercial real estate market weather multiple recessions and housing booms. With the last downturn nearly a decade in our rearview mirror, 2016 has showed record growth in the Atlanta commercial real estate market. Whether it’s Midtown development, a rise in mixed use projects, or luxury condos with every conceivable amenity a renter could want, Atlanta commercial real estate is more desirable than ever.

Atlanta’s Commercial Development and MARTA

Speaking of amenities, Atlanta development news would be remiss without mention of MARTA. High Atlanta rents are a reality for developments located near or adjacent to MARTA and there are plenty of developers taking advantage of this condition.

According to a recent report by Cushman & Wakefield research, 50 million square feet of office space exists, including our Mellen Lofts, within a quarter-mile of 19 Atlanta area MARTA stations, making the MARTA Market Atlanta’s largest office market, roughly double the size of Central Perimeter.

Rising Rents near MARTA

How does this translate to dollars and cents? The same report showed the office average rent per square foot was up 14.5 percent in the Central Perimeter’s MARTA Market, and multifamily effective rent per unit was 20 percent more than areas without close access to MARTA.

The secret is out: rents and ridership are in a reciprocal relationship. According to the American Public Transportation Association, (APTA) 2014 saw the highest ridership numbers in 58 years.

More people are opting for public transportation and seeking work and living options in Atlanta that cater to both.

For the first time since MARTA was funded 45 years ago, Atlantans will have a say in whether  to expand Atlanta’s public transportation options.

What the future holds for ATL Mass Transit

The Atlanta City Council unanimously voted to schedule a referendum in November 2016 to decide whether to hike the city’s sales tax by a half-penny. This change would generate $2.5 billion over the next four decades for a MARTA expansion and other transit upgrades.

Developers can capitalize on this resurgence in public transportation by:

  • Including walkability scores in listing description
  • Mapping out how far of a walk or drive it is to the nearest MARTA.
  • Adding shuttle service to and from MARTA stations.EpiCity Properties Close to MARTA

Armour Junction, 1386 Mayson Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30324

  • 3 mile drive or walk to the Lindbergh Pocket station

Mellen Lofts, 126 Renaissance Pkwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30308

  • 8 minute walk to the North Avenue station

Besides higher rents and asking prices, public transportation benefits the community in a myriad of ways according to the APTA.

  • $1 invested in public transportation generates approximately $4 in economic returns.
  • $1 billion invested in public transportation supports and creates more than 50,000 jobs.
  • $10 million in capital investment in public transportation yields $30 million in increased business sales.

For more information of interest to commercial developers, view this report. EpiCity evaluates the Atlanta commercial real estate market in our annual Real Estate Review available on our site here.

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