MARTA is negotiating with a developer on a proposal that would bring a hotel, retail and apartments to the Lindbergh Center Station transit-oriented development.
MARTA issued a request for proposals at the end of 2016 to redevelop a vacant lot and small site near its headquarters at 2400 Piedmont Road in southern Buckhead, hoping it spurs further mixed-use redevelopment around the station.
“I think long-term, there are a lot of things that will change at that development,” said Amanda Rhein, MARTA’s director of TOD projects.
The Lindbergh Center Station is the site of MARTA’s first TOD development, which began over 20 years ago. Mixed-use buildings and two apartment complexes were built, but it wasn’t quite what MARTA envisioned and later phases stalled. MARTA has since done several other TOD projects at various stations.
The developer, currently known only as Upper East Side, LLC, has proposed two buildings that would bring 208 residential units, a 143-room hotel and 18,000 square feet of retail space fronting Piedmont Road.
The RFP also requires the developer to help build a new grid of streets, which is thought to help with walkability and also improve the ability to develop nearby parcels.
Rhein said they are in the midst of negotiations and plan to present the proposal to the MARTA Board of Directors in the coming months.
The developer could not be reached for comment.
The transit agency owns several parcels around the station. The proposal is for a vacant lot at 2562 Piedmont Road and a small site at 572 Morosgo Drive.
The proposal includes two buildings, according to a rendering released by MARTA. One of the buildings would be one lot and the other lot would be used for a parking structure, according to the rendering.
The developer also owns the lot at 2450 Piedmont Road that is between the two MARTA-owned lots, Rhein said. It is the site of a long-vacant building that formerly housed a Shoney’s restaurant. This provides the opportunity to redevelop the boarded-up building that Rhein once called an “eyesore.”
“The intent is to construct the project on all three parcels once assembled,” Rhein said.
Sally Silver, District 7 Councilmember Howard Shook’s policy advisor, said she is most excited about the hotel aspect of the project.
“I think this is getting closer to what MARTA originally envisioned for this site,” she said.
Silver said this proposal would also get the area closer to her vision of Lindbergh as the best place to live in the city because of its proximity to rail lines and ease of access to Buckhead and Downtown.
“I’ve been a major proponent of Lindbergh for years because the location is perfect,” she said.
MARTA is still working on being included in the SPI-15 design district, which would guide planning with TOD-friendly restrictions, Silver said.
Bill Murray, the zoning chair of NPU-B, which would eventually weigh in on this proposal if it moves forward, said he thinks the development would be good for the neighborhood because there is not a hotel anywhere in the neighborhood.
“I think it fits everything MARTA is trying to do,” he said.