The neighborhood surrounding Kensington MARTA Station on the eastern fringe of Decatur isn't all that much of a destination right now. With the DeKalb County Jail, pawn shops and empty industrial spaces galore, the east end of Memorial Drive has largely been left out of the explosive interest and redevelopment that's taking hold closer to the city's core. But with the station identified as a target for a new transit-oriented development (TOD) the future could be looking up. And according to Decaturish, Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) may bring a new dimension to the standard mixed-use model we've become so familiar with.
Close to downtown Decatur and not far from downtown Atlanta by car or MARTA, the area is an ITP neighborhood that many would agree is severely underutilized. The thinking goes like this: The inclusion of GPTC as part of a broad overhaul could help cement usage of the area and provide a new model tenet for MARTA's transit-oriented developments.
The announcement could indicate that more big changes are in store for a part of DeKalb that has long missed out on development booms farther west toward the city. Last month, Atlanta United announced that they would be building their headquarters, practice facility and a small stadium near Kensington Station. Despite some opposition due to monetary concessions by the county, the development itself marked the first major investment in an area dominated by industrial uses and the DeKalb County Jail. Which don't exactly qualify as impetuses for growth.