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Is MARTA’s East Lake station next in mixed-use movement?

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$100K grant will allow for feasibility study to possibly transform parking lots

A MARTA train leaving the East Lake station near Decatur.
Only Vine City gets less ridership than East Lake.

MARTA’s goal of transforming underused station parking lots into active, mixed-use communities of paying transit customers is chugging along in Edgewood and Avondale Estates.

Could the East Lake MARTA Station—a property that straddles the line between Atlanta and Decatur—be next in line? With the Brookhaven/Oglethorpe transit-oriented development DOA, and the project planned for King Memorial Station slumbering for several years now, it appears that could be the case.

As Decatur Metro points out this week, the Atlanta Regional Commission recently forked over $100,000 to the City of Decatur as part of its Livable Cities Initiative Grants. That money, per the ARC, will be used to “develop conceptual plans for development at the East Lake MARTA Station and pedestrian/bicycle connections to surrounding neighborhoods and amenities.”

Officials have previously said Decatur’s study will be executed in partnership with the City of Atlanta and MARTA. If housing does happen on the site, future residents would have an easy walk to the Oakhurst Village and College Avenue attractions such as Dish Dive and Sun in My Belly restaurants. Not to mention trains and buses.

The East Lake station could use a boost. Only Vine City’s MARTA hub has less ridership.

East Lake counts just 1,100 enteries per day, on average, while the Decatur station one stop down the line sees four times as many riders—with zero official parking spaces. Per MARTA data, just 39 percent of the East Lake station’s 621 parking spaces are typically used.

The East Lake hub includes eight acres. The station itself, and the western half of the south parking lot, are technically in Atlanta; the rest is in Decatur.

No word yet on what part of the station might be best for development, but judging by this graphic, MARTA seems to think the whole enchilada has mixed-use potential: