East Lake Livable Centers Initiative

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Purpose and Context 

The Atlanta Regional Commission’s (ARC) Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) is a grant program that empowers local jurisdictions to re-envision their communities as vibrant, walkable places that offer increased mobility options, encourage healthy lifestyles, and provide improved access to jobs and services. In partnership with MARTA and the City of Atlanta, the City of Decatur was awarded an LCI grant to conduct an LCI for the East Lake MARTA station and area within a half-mile radius of the station. Divided between two municipalities (Atlanta and Decatur), and where six neighborhoods (Lake Claire, Druid Hills, Lenox Place, Parkwood, Oakhurst, and Kirkwood) meet, the East Lake MARTA station has the potential to become the “front porch” of the neighborhoods with needed amenities, housing, and connectivity in a transit-oriented development (TOD).

MARTA TOD Process 

This LCI is the first phase of MARTA’s TOD process. The LCI provides a framework for future implementation of TOD. Once MARTA decides to move forward with implementation, a competitive solicitation process will be used to select a development partner to implement TOD. This successful development proposal will be chosen based on multiple factors, including how it meets the goals of this plan. After MARTA enters an agreement with a developer and the site plan is approved through all jurisdictions, implementation begins.

Planning Process

Research & Analysis

The team conducted a research and analysis process for areas that affected
the study area prior to making any planning decisions, which included:
» Reviewing all previous, relevant plans for the study area, including Plan Purpose MARTA’s TOD Guidelines, and mapping any recommendations that directly affect this planning effort;
» Visiting and documenting the study area;
» Meeting with the City of Decatur, City of Atlanta, ARC, and MARTA staff
» Mapping the study area’s connectivity, social spaces, historic resources,
current zoning, and parcels susceptible to change.

Market Study

The purpose of the market study is to ensure that the proposed development scenarios are based on actual demand for the study area. The market study results, public input, previous plans, and MARTA’s TOD Guidelines serve as the basis for the recommendations. The following characteristics were noted in the study:
» Largely comprised of single-family, detached homes with several
restaurants along DeKalb and College Avenue;
» Strong community and school districts;
» High concentration of residents who are self-employed;
» Great access to many commercial nodes without a commercial core in
the study area;
» Median household income and median home values are on the rise.

Potential 5-Year Demand for Future Development

The market study detailed what new development the market could
support phased over the next five years:
» For-sale detached, single-family homes (430 units)
» For-sale attached, townhomes (185 units)
» For-sale attached, condominiums (one development of 34 units)
» Rental apartments (120 units)
» Neighborhood retail / restaurant (6,000 sq. ft. with the added potential
of 30 sq. ft per new resident


Download the plan:

 >Draft East Lake MARTA Livable Centers Initiative [PDF Draft as of 4-30-2018]