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Avondale Growth Drives Push for more Parking

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Recently MARTA has been investigating how to turn parking lots on their land into walkable transit-oriented centers. In confusingly reverse news, the city of Avondale Estates is testing the feasibility of turning land owned by MARTA into a parking lot to accommodate growth of the city's downtown shopping district. The one-acre lot, located behind Savage Pizza off of Laredo Drive, can accommodate 99 cars, but it comes at a pretty penny. Avondale Estates is faced with whether to spend in excess of $265,000 (that's $2,867 per space) to construct the lot on land they don't own — and the cost doesn't even include design fees. While the lot may come with sticker shock, it could help relieve congestion in the booming city center.

Earlier this year, the city began investigating the site, hoping to gain almost 150 parking spaces. While the architectural study resulted in 1/3 fewer spaces, the city remains bullish on the idea, needing to find a means to sustain a major growth spurt. Fewer than 3,000 residents call Avondale Estates home, but the small city has experienced quite a Tudor-styled Renaissance in the last year, with the opening of new restaurants and attractions. Plans for the Olde Towne Cinema to become a music venue could really get things rockin' and rollin'. If the plan goes through, MARTA could be ironically laughing all the way to the bank as they simultaneously attempt to coax a developer to turn the Avondale station parking lot into a mixed-use center. But then again, it could be a win-win.

· Avondale parking could cost $268,000 [Decaturish]