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42 Comments

  1. 1

    Chad

    Thank you very much, Amanda, for staying engaged. We know we’re a tough crowd and none of this is personal. We all live here. This is what the residents that will eventually be your sales force are looking for:

    Meet the goals and density levels outlined in the 2006 LCI study. No more than 300 residential units, 200,000 sf of commercial and 40,000 sf of retail
    Don’t ask for any tax abatements. You won’t get them. We are very in tuned to the value of our city’s location.
    Build the new sewer line along North Druid Hills Road, not a stream bank through Brookhaven Fields and Drew Valley.
    Move the stormwater retention pond out of Fernwood Park’s stream buffer and onto the construction site.

    We know the $15-20M of traffic infrastructure is on us. We should deny any and all rezoning requests until your site specific plans are drawn, your DRI study is complete and DeKalb County has issued a certification of sewer compliance.

    And, again, thanks for staying engaged.

  2. 2

    Hunter Burke

    MARTA acquired the land through condemnation in part, stating it would be a neighborhood station. Now, you’ve decided it should be a TOD. The Georgia senate has virtually quashed MARTA’s dreams of northern expansion, so, now what? An overly dense development at the “end of the line” where there is currently very little ridership?

    Your partners initially outlined a timeframe where you would go for rezoning in March/April & break ground in the last quarter – it was arrogant! Now, you want us to ‘trust you’ before you’ve done your due diligence?!? MARTA shouldn’t be in the development business at all – you should get your own houses in order first.

    Finish your due diligence, get the infrastructural issues resolved first, then talk about rezoning.

  3. 3

    Riley OConnor

    I’ve lived within 6 blocks of the Brookhaven MARTA station (and its predecessors such as the English Car Spares store and the public school which preceded them) since 1978, and I’ve seen the neighborhood change in so many ways. It has been a process of gentrification, and this development is just another chapter, but you can’t blame us for taking an interest in what is done there. Many of us do not want to lose what we have built and nurtured.

    The notion of a TOD, and any number of other academically driven urban planning ideas, represent a “best guess” as to what will be successful. How many collateral casualties result can’t be figured into the equation because we’ve never been here before. The closest example that is cited in this proposal is over 600 miles away, in a different state and in a different culture. And discussion of MARTA’s previous TOD project isn’t mentioned.

    For MARTA and its development partners, this is just a business deal. For those living in the vicinity of the development, it is much more an emotional matter.

  4. 4

    NTM

    Amanda,

    Thank you for reaching out to the community in more ways than one. With that being said, it is clear that not only is MARTA ill prepared to even be having development conversations, the citizens of this community are not interested in anything you have proposed. Your meetings proved even worse that I thought. You and your organization couldn’t be less knowledgeable about anything you are proposing in our community and we are not going to sit here and accept the “figure out as we go” routine. It seemed to me the only thing that has actually been worked through is a color rendering. Other than that you have very few answers to very important questions.

    MARTA was not created with our tax dollars to develop land, build apartments, or decide where to place Section 8 housing. It is my suggestion that you and your organization learn the basics of successful operation of a transit system and then stick to that. I refuse to believe that Marta should be in place fuel bonuses, be a profit machine, or build a city crippling development.

    Perhaps as a start you could clean all the stations, reopen bathrooms, get your “police” out of cars and onto platforms/trains, provide safe transportation, fix the streetcar, find ways to fund your pension, and learn how to become financially stable.

  5. 5

    B\'haven Birdie

    MARTA’s partner Integral ran out of out of money in Doraville. That makes me wonder just what type of “partnership” investment they actually have with this project.

  6. 6

    Bob Sorrentino

    That example TOD that MARTA is modeling this after is almost the perfect site for a high density development (large multi-lane roads on all side in a strong grid formation, and the rail line doesn’t even pass through the development causing challenging partition issues). Unfortunately this site is located in just about the worst possible location for a dense development to transfer traffic load to.

  7. 7

    Jason

    The reference has repeatedly been mentioned that MARTA owns the land. Isn’t MARTA a governmental agency funded by taxpayers? If so, isn’t the land owner the taxpayers in all reality?
    I hope this isn’t a splitting of hairs to later argue “individual property rights” in the re-zoning request.

  8. 8

    Tom Reilly

    ‘MARTA is very excited…,” “We must seek a rezoning of the site” because in effect MARTA’S vision is not Brookhaven’s vision. I’ve seen this dialogue before. Thank you sincerely, all seven of you, for your comments on this development. Please be advised [again] that we live here, and you don’t. These decisions influence millions of dollars, thousands of people’s lives, and years of change. The consequences of these decisions fall on us way more than they will ever fall on you. –Tom Reilly

  9. 9

    Chad

    Many MARTA advocates are already advocating personal property rights with regard to the storm water detention pond in Fernwood Park. The developer said, “MARTA owns that and can put it there.” Well, not according to the Georgia EPD or City of Brookhaven Code.

    The same guy tried to imply MARTA doesn’t pay any taxes. Then corrected himself later when challenged to admit they would request a tax abatement.

    MARTA has a long, long way to go. MARTA leadership should seriously consider selling the land. They might find the discounted cash value of money now far outstrips the gamble of future incremental dollars. Any for-profit land developer would have already run the numbers to know all possible options. MARTA is on an ideological bent to push declining mass transit in a cheap oil environment, affordable housing initiatives that CLEARLY already exist in our neighborhoods and a gamble in an industry as foreign to them as grocery stores or rocket launches.

    How cool would it be to have a for-profit development with no government buildings, no competitive sapping ‘housing initiatives’ and a Lenox Park style development. A couple of parking decks next to a shiny, newly renovated station where we encourage our friends to come via MARTA. Current plans look more like Decatur Court House.

  10. 10

    Red

    Ms. Rhein: Why in the world would we believe that Marta can manage a project like this when you can’t even efficiently manage your core business?

    Take care of your trains and your existing stations, keep your elevators clean and working, keep the restrooms clean and available, and improve your public address system so that people can actually understand the announcements.

    Once you master the obligations you already have, maybe – just maybe – you will be allowed to expand your routes and increase revenues from your core business instead of counting on these pipe dreams for that. Of course, you will likely be long gone by the time the full impact of your follies are being felt by the citizens Marta supposedly serves.

  11. 11

    RAJ

    Please note that Integral is a “partner” with Doraville in a failed $600M Tax Allocation District, has repeatedly lied to the City Council and the citizens of Doraville and now wants the Legislature to pass “Developer Specific” CID legislation to save their project. Buyer beware!

  12. 12

    Eric Robert

    Declining Mass Transit? Farebox Revenue for MARTA has steadily increased from $109,546,000 in 2010 to $146,417,000 in 2015. Apartments at Lindbergh are renting for $1,500 to $2,000 a month http://www.berkshirecommunities.com/apartments/ga/atlanta/eon-at-lindbergh/floor-plans#/bedrooms/2/floorplans A shift in attitude from older folks who believe the misinformation about transit to the young professionals recently out of college that want transit has caused major new employment developments to occur near MARTA stations. http://saportareport.com/for-georgia-to-remain-competitive-investing-in-marta-and-transit-are-key/ . As to providing a small portion of apartments as affodable housing to senior citizens just seems humane. I don’t understand why that would be a problem for anyone. I do agree that Brookhaven should not give tax a abatement to any developer, whether it be here or at Town Brookhaven or any other spot in Brookhaven.

  13. 13

    City-Weary

    I’m a MARTA fan but rail ridership has gone down a bit 2014-2015 and failed to meet projections most months in 2015. Our YTD so far in 2016 is lower than this point in 2015, although not by much. These dips have been attributed, by MARTA, to lower gas prices. http://www.itsmarta.com/kpichart_Rideship.aspx

  14. 14

    Chad

    2010-2013 operating revenue increased because gate features were installed. Gate hopping was eliminated. Low gas prices will continue to result in ridership decline.

    MARTA has a $600M annual operating loss. MARTA should spend as much time on transit improvements as they are in non core competency real estate development. Open the bathrooms. Put cops on the train. Remove the nasty exteriors tarnishing the MARTA image. Install new elevators. Eliminate the Ponzi Scheme Pension Plan none of us would get at our jobs. It sucks the life out of transit improvements.

    In this letter MARTA reprimands Town Brookhaven for allowing 40,000 sf of real estate per acre. They are requesting 100,000 sf per acre at Brookhaven/Oglethorpe Station. MARTA should honor the 2006 LCI study allowing about 25,000 sf per acre.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/d6zyxeu928jfo9n/MARTA%20Letter%20Reg%20Town%20Brookhaven.pdf?dl=0

    Email your mayor and council. Ask them to deny any rezoning that doesn’t honor the 2006 LCI study

  15. 15

    NTM

    And Chad drops the mic and walks off stage….

    I wish I could could I was surprised by any of this but I am not. Marta is a corrupt and poorly run organization. Always has been.

    Today I saw a Marta K9 Chevy Tahoe on Apple Valley. Can someone explain to me why Marta needs a $60,000 Tahoe and a K-9 unit? Rest assured they are not using either for their intended purpose by sitting in a vehicle all day in a parking lot. It’s a sad state and that letter from Marta should be all the evidence anyone needs to shut this project down. Great find Chad.

  16. 16

    Eric Robert

    Chad again with the $600,000 operating loss? We already covered this. Implicit in every transit system. Heck every transportation system including roads is that user fees alone do not pay for all the costs thus the bulk of MARTA’s budget is funded by the 1% sales tax in DeKalb and Fulton. Moody’s just raised MARTA’s credit rating because of the solid performance under the new CEO Keith Parker. “MARTA’s ever rosier financial outlook has prompted Moody’s Investors Service to give its bond rating a bump.” http://commuting.blog.ajc.com/2015/10/27/moodys-upgrades-marta-bond-ratings/ Per the #s you cited in the other thread when we had this same discussion MARTA’s Farebox Recovery are at a 10 year high of 36.6% of operating expenses.

  17. 17

    Eric Robert

    Finally a valid point of concern.

  18. 18

    Chad

    The same credit rating agencies that gave AAA ratings to FNMA and Freddie Mac in 2007?

  19. 19

    James M.

    The same Maria Saporta that claims the Beltline is providing an economic boom to our economy.

    Median home sales prices in Inman Park have depreciated 27% in the last 5 years. They increased 5.7% in 2015.

    http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Inman_Park-Atlanta/2607/market-trends/

    Median sales prices represented in the Case Shiller Atlanta Home Composite Index shows a 24.59% increase in the last 5 years. It shows a 5.7% increase for the entire city of Atlanta year over year.

    http://us.spindices.com/indices/real-estate/sp-case-shiller-ga-atlanta-home-price-index

    http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Westview-Atlanta/2684/market-trends/

    Westview down 22% in 2015

    http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Poncey_Highlands-Atlanta/2653/

    Poncey Highlands down 17% in 2015

    http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Oakland_City-Atlanta/2639/

    Oakland City up 4% last year vs. Atlanta up 5.7%

    http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Cabbagetown-Atlanta/2542/market-trends/

    Cabbagetown down 20% in 2015

    http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Old_Fourth_Ward-Atlanta/2640/market-trends/

    Old Fourth Ward up only 1.7%

    http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Grant_Park-Atlanta/2588/market-trends/

    Grant Park down 7.5%

    Conclusion: If you live in a neighborhood connected to the Beltline you have a 100% chance that your property value will either decrease or not increase as fast as the median home price of the Atlanta Real Estate Market in a rising market environment.

    Keep plugging Chad. The facts are on your side.

  20. 20

    Neal

    $600 million operating loss. Quite a bit higher than $600,000. Never read the financial report did you, ER?

  21. 21

    Eric Robert

    NR read my post again.

  22. 22

    bldvl89

    Here’s a link to a paper a Ga Tech PhD CE candidate wrote using Lindbergh as a case study of TODs. I found it helpful in understanding MARTA accounting, and in realizing we need to focus on curbing density:

    http://www.nctr.usf.edu/jpt/pdf/JPT%207-3%20Dumbaugh.pdf

    Short version is that when transit authorities are created, their enabling legislation authorizes public funds, but requires apportionment between (1) Capital purposes (such as constructing rail lines, buying buses or TODs) and (2) Operations (maintenance, salaries, fuel). Funding for Capital purposes is more easily obtained, and far less subject to public scrutiny. There was a time when as much as 80% of a Cap investment for a project could be obtained by transit agencies from federal subsidies.

    Operations, on the other hand, are always tough to finance – which is why most transit authorities operate at a loss. Two reasons for this: nationally (at least in 04), only about 35% of a transit authority’s Ops revenue came from the fare box, and legislation (particularly fed) authorizing subsidies limits their use to Cap purposes.

    In MARTA’s case, the revenue they get for Ops is mostly from their 1/2 share of the penny sales tax (the other 1/2 going to Capital) + their fare box revenue; thus the consistent losses on the Ops side – and the importance to MARTA of TOD funding/investment. TOD funding is typically counted as a transit agency’s Cap expense, but the revenue TODs generate can be used w/o restriction for Ops.

    Thus, MARTA (at least up to 04 according to this paper) could operate L’bergh at what amounted to a $2 mil/year loss (based on low rate of return on their initial Cap investment amortized over the life of a 30 yr, $81 mil bond v. what you could get on the free market with that money). What makes this kind of loss acceptable to transit authorities is the revenue generated by the Cap. investment – $2.6 mil/year for L’bergh in 04 – which can go directly to Ops, and in theory allow MARTA to expand or improve rail/bus service, maintenance, or staffing.

    The problem w/ the L’bergh TOD is that many of its property parcels were bought w/ a Fed subsidy. The paper notes that all of L’bergh’s revenue-generating entities – commercial, retail, residential – were crammed onto parcels acquired solely with “local funds.” The Fed funded parcels were used for nonrevenue uses – parking, greenspace, and MARTA’s HQ.

    MARTA won’t make that mistake this time. They’ll try to max out this TOD in a way they weren’t able to w/ L’bergh, on two revenue rails leading directly to Ops: by developing as much of their acreage for commercial, retail, and residential revenue producing purposes as possible, and by putting as many fare box paying residents/workers/shoppers on site as possible. Those are the ultimate goals of any TOD. Hopefully our Planning Comm. and ZBA realize this – and will act with a unity of purpose in capping the density of this project.

  23. 23

    Sandy

    Good read bldv189.The Brookhaven Citizen Review Board and Dist 3 Representative have been telling MARTA 2 years their requested density is desirable.Dist 3 Representative tried to keep meetings private with no public input until warned by City Attorney. Meetings held in middle of day when employed were at work. District 3 Representative is unemployed.Head of Brookhaven Citizen Review Board barred any public input.

    Whoops.

  24. 24

    Bob Sorrentino

    I had read that article too. It needs to be pointed out that as of last year that 50/50 ratio requirement of cap ex to operations funding from taxes has been removed. What does that mean for us? My guess is that MARTA will be far less willing to fund the necessary infrastructure upgrades as they were for Lindbergh; as they no longer need the TOD to be a pass-through mechanism to transfer funds. So I’m willing to bet anyone here $100 that MARTA will come knocking on Mayor Ernst’s door with their hand out. We will not only have the pleasure of getting this crazy density thrown at us, but will have the added bonus of paying for some of it.

  25. 25

    bldvl89

    I suppose it means MARTA wont have to uselessly spend money on cap exp projects that they werent previously allowed to spend on Ops (like million dollar toilets at Five Points). The removal of the split will be subject to audit evey four years.

    Interestingly, the Ga legislature overwhelmingly approved removal of the split after MARTA showed an 18 mil surplus – our very own Mike Jacobs , who was on the MARTA oversight committee at the time gave it his blessing.

    Anyway, what’s worrisome is the fact that the L’bergh TOD narrative isnt over yet: there s a ton of private development going on as we speak across Piedmont, and Im sure the City of Atlanta/Fulton Co has seen a good bit of revenue come in from the big box retailers (best buy, target, and home depot before it moved) and the multitude of complexes that went in right there at Piedmont and Sid Marcus (but not within the TOD) at the time L’bergh was built.

    Those who believe B’haven needs more commercial revenue have to be seeing that and thinking this TOD will be a golden goose to the non-MARTA prop around there. Even though we’re the ones affected, what the TOD and the City wants to cater to are future residents/shoppers/workers who ll be putting $ in the fare box and paying new taxes, but bc of their high density, wont place nearly the same kinds of demands on providing City services that residential sprawl does.

    It might very well explain why our own D-3 rep has been conspicuously absent/silent on this.

  26. 26

    John

    Not following.

    Are you suggesting the MARTA TOD development as a gateway to shopping across the street at Steinmart even though Home Depot left Lindgergh? Or that funding MARTA pensions (ops) is more important than renovating stations? Or that the 100,000 sf per acre real estate request will have less infrastructure impact than the 2006 LCI study?

  27. 27

    Bob Sorrentino

    I’m sure someone filled Bates head with that thought. On revenue collected from property taxes this development will be no windfall for the city. @1377 & Rosewood combined (over 500 apartments) only paid the city $64,023 last year when excluding the land value as would be the case for MARTA. On the commercial side, Ashford Green’s 277k SF paid the city only $25,035. You can scale those numbers up a bit for the proposed development and you’re not covering a lot of roadwork.

    Was the box stores at Lindbergh a chicken or egg situation. Were the same pressures that motivated the TOD not just part of the same business cycle that brought in that retail? A gentrification of Buckhead moving south and Midtown moving north that was occurring in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Could it be argued that MARTA driven development of Lindbergh actually limited the potential of the area?

    The Brookhaven property is in some of the hottest real estate in the south. MARTA has admitted significant interest at this property by developers compared to their other TOD sites. I think it’s safe to say that we don’t need any spark to ignite growth here. In fact many in the neighborhood would say that the growth needs to be examined closely with strong zoning so we don’t trade increased commercial taxes for decreased property values.

  28. 28

    Chad

    Thanks, bldv189.

    The article from page 55-58 makes the strongest argument to date MARTA should sell the unneeded, unused portion of the parking lots to a developer. It suggests MARTA TOD expansions generate an internal rate of return of 2.1%. MARTA could take the proceeds and invest in AAA rated US 30 year Treasuries and get a far better return with far less risk with our tax dollars.

    Next, the article states TOD wouldn’t occur without government (read: authority financing created by Redevelopment Powers). Not so. Proof? John Hancock at North Springs. MARTA issued $81M of revenue bonds for the Lindbergh Center development via Redevelopment Powers Law allowing bond issuance and eminent domain without a vote. They circumvented the tax payer who has overwhelmingly dismissed Transit Authority funding as a valid use of taxpayer funds. The $8B expansion to Alpharetta and the penny sales tax didn’t even make it out of committee. Several parking deck levels at Lindbergh have been closed from MARTA ridership declines and real estate vacancies. The Lindbergh/Morosgo neighborhood experienced a 10% property value decline in 2015 while the Atlanta market increased 5.7%. Ridership has decreased at the flagship station since the TOD development.

    Finally, the article at the bottom outlines mass transit decline in the entire country because of the number one factor of cheap gas. Expect it to continue.

    Email your representative and mayor. Ask them to hold MARTA to the 2006 LCI density initiatives. If they have any influence, they should continue to suggest MARTA save themselves and us a huge headache. Sell the property. Take the proceeds and fix MARTA.

    http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Lindbergh_Morosgo-Atlanta/8297/

    http://ti.org/antiplanner/?p=10011

    There goes 30 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

  29. 29

    bldvl89

    Chad –

    If you read on, the failure to put that bond into a 30 yr Treasury you bring up as an example is why the author was able to amortize what appears to be an inexcusable $2 mil/year loss on the Cap Exp side (which would be a real loss for any business other than MARTA, and who, as you also pointed out, gets ridiculously little public scrutiny for its Cap expenditures). But as the paper notes, they did it b/c:

    “The loss for MARTA is solely in capital dollars, which are much easier to come by than operating dollars. Indeed, for a transit authority, all capital projects operate at a loss—undertaking financially unprofitable investments are central to its business approach. What is unique about development projects is that the losses are absorbed entirely on the capital side. While the project may operate at a net loss during 2003, it nevertheless provides MARTA with $2.6 million dollars in new operating revenue . . . since the costs are absorbed on the capital side, and the benefits realized on the operating side, the ultimate question for transit agencies is not whether a development makes sound financial sense, but instead, what capital losses are acceptable for new gains in operating revenue.”

    After reading that, it seems to me MARTA’s never going to give that property up, even w/ removal of the 50-50 Cap v. Op expense restriction (esp. since they still have to be audited regularly to keep the removal in place). Numerous posts the past few weeks say MARTA needs to improve their services first and bring their budget into line, but MARTA needs this TOD because they need a new stream of Ops revenue to improve their services in the first place.

    It seems to me that the focus should be on what you somewhat allude to (FYI, I’m pretty sure writing to my rep will be wasted time in my life I can never get back): pressuring the PC and ZBA to keep the density in check since they will get the re-zoning application. There will be other considerations that both boards weigh, having to do with potential new revenue streams for the City. For all the focus we’re putting on MARTA, an equal amount, maybe more, needs to shine on those might be inclined to put the need for another revenue stream for the entire City ahead of the interests of those of us who live near, and will be directly impacted by that TOD.

    Not that many peeps on the PC and ZBA live near the proposed TOD (only 2 of the 13 Character Areas from whom the mayor wants input have a direct physical connection w the TOD, and more than half of the 13 have virtually none), and I apologize if I don’t fully trust all the holdovers in City government that do. We only elected a new mayor, who won’t even get to vote unless there’s a tie in the City Council, and at the moment, I trust only one Council Rep to keep our concerns up front – and he doesn’t even live in our district.

  30. 30

    bldvl89

    Bob –

    Notwithstanding that the $64K the City receives from @1377 and Rosewood is probably $60K more than the City was receiving on an annual basis when those parcels were a quartet of decayed homes and a large strand of trees, that’s not the only financial benefit to the City (or any city for that matter). 500 apartments means at least 500 new residents spending money in the City, and paying for services that cost the City disproportionately much less to provide than servicing 500 homes. Don’t get me wrong – I agree with your last paragraph entirely – but cities are ALWAYS looking for new revenue.

    As far as the Lindbergh TOD, I’m not an expert on it, so I don’t know if it was the chicken or the egg. I believe the TOD did go up first and 20 yrs later, they’re still digging up dirt and finding places to build beyond its footprint. Anecdotally, I remember a time when the only thing notable about that entire area was the Gold Club and all its neon. Ah the good old days – low density use (until you walked in the door), populated by nice looking, revenue generating (or income sucking, depending on your perspective) people. Although the Pink Pony is better by a mile.

  31. 31

    Chad

    Agreed. How to create a tie?

  32. 32

    Bob Sorrentino

    bldvl89, I agree redevelopment is a good thing and that an empty lot provides very little value. My point on the small amount of income from the MARTA development is that it will not come close to covering any significant intersection upgrades that will be required after the DRI is finished. If Brookhaven has to cover these then the development is easily a net loss. Even when you factor in the business taxes (which would be in the $15k range for 700 apartments).

  33. 33

    Guest

    BLVD you have hit on my argument .. “nd finding places to build beyond its footprint”. Enough is never enough to a developer and the way they do it is by making the first one the biggest and most detrimental then buying up the “buffer” properties and developing them as the first one should have been. We are at a point that if the current density is approved you will have a little city rising on Peachtree followed by a radius of homes selling out to a developer for more multi family but at a lower density … look at every large development in Atlanta and the surrounding areas… did the first one really stop there or did the Lenox / Roxboro apartments turn in to several high rise apartment and condos where even the new homes sold out to the developers. How about Lindbergh – Phase 2 is starting… how many more apartments until all the homes are gone. Buckhead is the same way. The Forum in Cobb and don’t get me started on Perimeter. The comprehensive plan already has been changed to show Brookhaven Fields and Brookhaven Heights as “transitional” neighborhoods instead of “traditional”. This has to be controlled NOW not later if we want to keep Brookhaven’s Districts 2, 3 and some of 4 as single family and not just the newest Midtown/Buckhead/Lenox.

  34. 34

    Jennifer

    Amanda, Chad, Bldv189, Bob and others,
    There is a bigger argument here that we realize. Marta has an opportunity to really help themselves to get other counties to agree to expansion. If you talk to the naysayers in Cobb and Gwinnett they for the most part say they would love to have an alternative to driving in the gridlock traffic but they don’t want Marta what they feel it brings. You hear the usual, crime, unclean stations, not like me… all of those can be argued away but the perception stays. The new team at Marta is doing great at starting to change the perception with intown riders… now you need to go bigger – further out to change perceptions. Many say they worry that a “Lindbergh” will be built – Yup, Lindbergh is an issue.

    Could you not see a place where having Marta work with the Brookhaven residents to create a great suburbanish mixed use TOD that would fit in with the community, have great (more than 2 acres) public space and architecture that is different than anything currently in the area. Two beautiful 6 story office buildings on the Peachtree Front with a real green plaza. A smaller civic space or hotel. On the back something along the lines of the Haven development or an extension of the Fernwood Townhome style in to the back parking lot surrounding a large park/green space with 15ft setbacks from the street with real buffer landscaping and a grand entrance? Something that could fit next to a Suburban neighborhood in the outer counties.

    If Marta changed the perception of what a TOD could be from what it is “Lindbergh” it would keep bills from dying in the house and having to be resurected by side deals. I have asked and have heard the question asked about “mistakes learned” from the Lindbergh development. What we have been told is that it is difficult to manage, why don’t you ask the public what they think the mistakes that should have been learned are? I can pretty much promise that they will not be that it was difficult to manage. Sure some of the mistakes could be solved with easier management but not all, Lindbergh is too oppressive for a neighborhood.

    Amanda, this is for you and your team. We are not saying don’t build – we are saying follow the LCI from 2006 and reduce the density. We are begging that you don’t build the typical apartment style that we keep seeing in every new mixed use development… make it special – Brookhaven is not an old KMart. We are asking that you actually listen to the residents, we are telling you: LCI – 300 residences – a mix of owner occupied and rental. 4 story max in the backlot, retail on bottom and a LARGE green space with a real landscape border in addition to the wide sidewalks, lights and street furniture. We will be a little more agreeable on the Peachtree side as it is on a major throughfare and not our residential streets. Please Listen – this is Marta’s chance to move ahead – you have a one time opportunity to gain a world of new fans.

  35. 35

    NTM

    They wont do that because to build parks costs instead of mid rise buildings costs revenue that Marta and its private partners are not willing to give up. Anyone who knows me knows that I am all about rights and profit but this just wrong on every level. They are using the power of government for profit and it should be illegal. Marta should clean up its act before every trying to develop property. Get Marta police out of the cars in the parking lots and into stations, because they damn sure aren’t there now. Clean the stations. Open the restrooms. Fund you pensions and operations.

    At the end of the day if they need taxpayer money to operate then they have no right or business in the land development game. None.

    No other major city has a stigma about its “subway” like Marta. At least none that I know of. It is 100% a self inflicted wound and instead of fixing their massive problems they are trying to create more in my neighborhood and I am not ok with it.

  36. 36

    One Car Funeral

    Millenials are moving to the burbs. Just in time for MARTA to build a bunch of empty apartments for them.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/03/09/your-new-neighbor-in-the-burbs-a-millennial-yes-really.html

  37. 37

    Tom Reilly

    There is no desire to turn Brookhaven into “Buckhead East.” Take a good look at the Ashford Green fiasco. And don’t say “yes” or “maybe” to this project. Say “No’ and make it stick!!–Tom Reilly

  38. 38

    Tom Reilly

    Let’s hear it for both Chad Boles and Trey Benton!! Both of whom are on constant effective guard to keep our quality of life safe!!–Tom Reilly

  39. 39

    Tom Reilly

    “…a world of new fans.” Great attitude and article, Jennifer!! May i bring in a couple of lessons learned from years of fighting white collar crime in other contexts: Anything that looks too good to be true probably is, and MARTA has a real gift for going to where almost no one else wants to go.–Tom Reilly

  40. 40

    Toff

    Please watch The Big Short and get back to me about ratings agencies.

  41. 41

    MARTA SUCKS

    I never come on here because you guys all sound like losers.

    The Marta train was late 4 times in 2 weeks. late, late. Last Monday we got stuck in the tunnel past Arts Center Station for about 5 minutes. The lights went dark. Your crazy if you don’t grab your purse. Last Thursday we went North from Lindbergh almost to Lenox stopped and came back to Lindbergh. The poor Marta person had to tell everyone to get off the train and then tell the confused people coming from North Springs they were single tracking. I give them a lot of credit until this last two weeks. Same things happens today. uggggghhhhh. I’m driving from now on. What a joke?

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