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Dusty Avondale MARTA Mixed-Use Plans Are Being Reborn

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Another Decatur development idea has risen from its Recession-induced slumber. MARTA leaders and their advisors are especially bullish about the chances of mixed-use development around the Avondale station, which could kick the revitalization of East Decatur — a former warehouse district that's attracting creative office types and local microbreweries — into full gear. Of five sites identified by MARTA as being ripe for transit-connected development, Avondale has the greatest potential, one MARTA advisor told the Atlanta Business Chronicle. There's evidence, the newspaper reports, that the site will be an active project within the next two years, part of a larger initiative to generate millions in revenue for cash-strapped MARTA. Decatur's been hankering to develop the site since naughty Bill Campbell was in office.

The vision is that East Decatur will one day resemble booming Westside Atlanta, only with direct transit access, which the latter sorely needs. An existing pedestrian bridge puts downtown Decatur an easy stroll away. But first things first. As the newspaper reports, MARTA is negotiating with the city of Decatur's development authority to remake a roughly 6-acre site — currently a parking lot — south of the Avondale station. That agreement, according to city officials, could be in place as soon as July. Meanwhile, a request for qualifications is being beamed out to developers next month.

Beyond the initial site, one official told the newspaper 62 acres around the Avondale station would be prime for development. Pre-Recession plans called for a mixed-use, mixed-income community called Columbia Park Station, but it faltered like countless other projects across metro Atlanta.

What say you? Does the area around the Avondale station have the potential that MARTA thinks it has? Does East Decatur?

· Avondale project would lift Decatur [Atlanta Business Chronicle]