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This Week in Real Estate: MARTA approves new transportation project, Atlanta named best tech city and more

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In a 10 – 0 vote, MARTA Board of Directors approved of the final version of the “More MARTA” plan, distributing $2.7 billion in Atlanta projects. As the largest transit expansion plan in decades, MARTA officials approved of new blueprints in a board meeting.

Robbie Ashe, MARTA board executive director, said this new plan is one of the most important decisions MARTA has made. “But it’s not the end of the discussion,” Ashe said. The transit expansion will occur over 40 years. It includes nearly 30 miles of light rail, 13 miles of bus rapid transit lines, as well as three arterial rapid transit routes. The new plan will also reportedly improve current stations.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a written statement public transportation must improve to meet the needs of Atlanta’s growing population. “With development plans spanning from Greenbriar in Southwest Atlanta to Emory University, today’s MARTA vote helps move us closer towards becoming One Atlanta,” Bottoms said.

In other real estate news:

  • Cushman & Wakefield named Atlanta as one of the best tech cities in the country. The real estate services firm said technology is a “key driver of the local economy and CRE market.” According to their research, tech companies account between 6 percent to 8 percent of all jobs in the area.
  • A new Bloomberg analysis determined Atlanta has the worst income inequality in the country. The report stated the city’s poverty rate is nearly one in four residents. “The home of several Fortune 500 companies, including Delta Air Lines Inc. and Coca-Cola Co., the city boasts extreme wealth, with many executives earning top-dollar salaries,” Bloomberg reported. “At the same time, many individuals work low-paying jobs in the hospitality and retail sector.” The mean income for households in the top 5 percent is 11 times the city’s median household income.
  • Midtown continues their expansion after three new residential communities were proposed — two towers and a condo. CA Ventures proposed two apartment tower to have 28 floors and focus on student living. The building would have two retail spaces at the ground-level with six levels of above-ground parking, leaving 19 floors for living space. The other proposal is a 32-story residential tower with 12,000 square feet of ground-level retail space. This includes eight levels for parking. Freeman Partners also pitched a new residential community, a seven-story condo on Piedmont Avenue. The condo would come with 29 units, including a community a pool and a terrace.
  • Pollack Shores, along with Braves Development Company, announced on Oct. 10 they have completed the sale of three luxury apartment communities at the Battery Atlanta. Cortland Partner purchased the mixed-use property. The multifamily complex, according to a press release, achieved 90 percent occupancy.
  • Cousins Properties is reportedly developing an office tower on the site of Ponce and Third in Midtown. The site is reportedly under consideration of Norfolk Southern, the railroad giant that may plan to move from Virginia to Atlanta. Cousins Properties would share the 4.1-acre site with CA Ventures who plan to build a residential tower on the same site.

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