MARTA advances Kensington Station development

DeKalb County Board of Commissioners recently approved a rezoning effort allowing Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) to continue work on a transit-oriented development at the Kensington Rail Station at 3350 Kensington Road in Decatur.

MARTA officials announced on April 26 that the commissioners’ approval “advanced a transit-oriented development (TOD) Master Plan for Kensington Rail Station on MARTA’s East/West Line.”
The Kensington TOD Master Plan includes affordable senior and workforce housing and a new headquarters for the Housing Authority of DeKalb County.

The commissioners’ approved rezoning of the 35 acres that make up Kensington Station to mixed-use very high density “keeps with the community’s vision for TOD at the station as defined in the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Centers Initiative Plan and the 2050 DeKalb Unified Plan that was adopted [in 2022],” according to a MARTA spokesperson.

In June 2022, MARTA and DeKalb County began the TOD master planning process with an interactive website, community meetings, and stakeholder engagement. According to MARTA’s website, the masterplan “aims to meet the vision for the Kensington Station area established in the DeKalb Unified Plan, the recent comprehensive land use and transportation plan for the unincorporated parts of the county. Kensington is envisioned as a regional activity center, with a focus on walkable, transit-supportive redevelopment.”

MARTA officials said the transit authority owns all the land between Kensington Station and Mountain Drive to the north, Memorial Drive to the east, Kensington Road to the south, and Covington Highway to the west — except for the office park at Mountain Drive and Memorial Drive.

The website states that MARTA plans to add housing and other amenities to the area. Additionally, “it is MARTA’s intent to maintain land ownership and execute a 99-year ground lease with the future developer. If there are homeownership opportunities as part of the mix of housing options, MARTA will explore how best to accommodate the needed land transaction with the future developer.”

“We are grateful for the support of the DeKalb County Commission and this vital rezoning designation,” said Greenwood. “We are now ready to solicit developers to work with MARTA and DeKalb to turn the undeveloped and underused property around the rail station into a community hub with affordable housing and neighborhood amenities.”
MARTA’s website states that plans for the area are not solidified. “The developer will use the conceptual site plan from this process, but they will have some flexibility to make adjustments, assuming they meet MARTA and the community’s goals.”

MARTA, DeKalb County, and Soccer in the Streets celebrated the opening of a soccer pitch and community garden at Kensington Station in July 2022, and a MARTA Market offering fresh produce for sale is open at the rail station every Thursday from 3 – 7 p.m.

To learn more about the Kensington Station Master Plan, visit: sycamore.mysocialpinpoint.com/kensington-master-plan/kensington/.

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