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Report: MARTA’s recent impact on Atlanta office, housing scene is staggering

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Cushman & Wakefield analysis highlights influence of transit as the city evolves

The Sky Deck view at MARTA’s Spoke development in Edgewood, overlooking Whitefoord Avenue, DeKalb Avenue, and the train tracks.
The Sky Deck view at MARTA’s Spoke development in Edgewood, overlooking Whitefoord Avenue, DeKalb Avenue, and the train tracks.
Curbed Atlanta

As Atlanta development observers are fully aware, MARTA is succeeding in harvesting a built-in customer base at stations from Chamblee to Decatur, where seven hubs are in various phases of seeing parking lots transformed into transit-oriented communities.

In the private sector, major headquarters moves by NCR, State Farm, Anthem, WorldPay, Mercedes-Benz, and others have cited MARTA proximity as paramount. And the metro’s biggest office deal so far this year, Insight Global’s lease at Twelve24 in Central Perimeter, will include a new sky bridge linking to the Dunwoody MARTA Station.

In a new report called “The Growing MARTA Market,” Cushman & Wakefield, a global real estate services firm, describes the appetite for MARTA proximity in Atlanta as “insatiable” right now.

MARTA stations studied for the Cushman & Wakefield report.

Drilling down, Cushman & Wakefield found that MARTA drives about $1.4 billion in economic activity each year and supports almost 25,000 jobs.

The statistics researchers found when honing in on areas within a half-mile of MARTA stations—across multiple Atlanta geographies—could provide factual evidence that a city so long associated with sprawl has turned a corner toward urbanized densification.

They call this radius the “MARTA market.” And the numbers could qualify as staggering.

Consider that over the past decade, the number of new residential units within half a mile of MARTA stations has more than tripled inventory growth elsewhere, per Cushman & Wakefield’s findings.

On the downside for renters, but as a boon for developers, multifamily rents in this circle of MARTA proximity have reached nearly 50 percent higher than areas less transit-friendly.

When it comes to office space, across the metro more than 60 percent of all new construction is now occurring within a half-mile MARTA stations—all of it upscale, or Class A, development.

And average office rents near transit stations are nearly 25 percent higher than the Atlanta market overall, per the study.

“The city is shifting from ‘all cars, all the time’ to a much more urban approach to transportation found in Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and New York City,” analysts wrote, in summation.