May 20 King Memorial Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Partners Officially Cut Ribbon and Celebrate the Opening of Marchon
It’s official. Developers H. J. Russell & Company and Place Properties, along with MARTA and Invest Atlanta cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening of Marchon, the $65.3M TOD situated adjacent to the King Memorial MARTA station and the Historic Oakland Cemetery. This comes two years and two months after the groundbreaking for the project was planned and abruptly cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now enjoying 59% occupancy just 5 months after opening its doors and residents calling Marchon home, the development has brought 305 much needed transportation-oriented and affordable studio, and one-and two-bedroom apartment homes to Atlanta’s east side.
Marchon complements the development efforts occurring just east of the State Capital and City Hall along Memorial Drive, an area near the Beltline and some of Atlanta’s best-known historic neighborhoods. Of the 305 available units, approximately 33 percent of the units are WorkForce units. WorkForce housing is a category of affordable housing that allows for income qualifications of 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). Marchon also adds 11,000 square feet of street-level retail space to the community.
“The need for centrally located, transportation-oriented and affordable housing is in high demand and short supply in metro Atlanta, especially within the heart of the city,” said H. Jerome Russell, president, H. J. Russell & Company. “Russell is always exploring creative ways in which it can incorporate affordability into these developments because providing affordable housing has been a core component of our company’s mission for 70 years.”
The group closed on the financing of the $65.3M project in December 2019 and completed Phase I construction during December of 2021 with Phase II and final completion in February 2022. More than 35% of units were rented before the first residents moved in on January 17, 2022. Marchon is currently 59% leased and has 46% occupancy.
“Affordable housing provides a platform for vibrant, diverse, and economic healthy communities,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, CEcD, President and CEO, Invest Atlanta. “On average, 63 percent of a family’s income is spent on housing and transportation. Affordable housing near transit like Marchon offers the dual benefit of reducing the amount a household pays for both rent and transportation to work so they can build wealth and prosper.”
The collaboration of key partners such as MARTA, that provided lower cost land options and Invest Atlanta, the economic development arm of the City of Atlanta, provided TAD (Tax Allocation District) funding along with the developer team that was willing to forgo full market rate revenue, were critical components of the development and management of Marchon, a multifamily, mixed-income residential community in the heart of the city.
“MARTA is proud to have played a role in supporting this historic community over the years and is equally proud to celebrate the opening of the King Memorial transit-oriented development,” said Collie Greenwood, MARTA Interim General Manager and CEO. “We are grateful to our many partners who helped transform MARTA property into affordable housing close to transit and all of the opportunities that proximity affords.”
+4 acres adjacent to King Memorial MARTA transit station
Occupancy began January 17, 2022 (MLK Holiday)
305 Units, 98 of which are WorkForce
Unit types include studio, one- and two-bedroom apartment units
11,000 square foot retail facility
Marchon is built on what was 4.4 acres of underutilized MARTA station parking spaces adjacent to the King Memorial MARTA station and is located on the northern edge of the historic Grant Park neighborhood and due west of the Historic Oakland Cemetery. It’s also near the neighborhoods of Old Fourth Ward including the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and Ebenezer Baptist Church and the relatively new Reynoldstown’s Madison Yards development. Via the King Memorial MARTA station, which serves the King Memorial Historic District and beyond, residents are just two stops from downtown and a 30-minute ride to Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
“Affordable, workforce housing must move beyond being just a goal or political promise,” said Cecil Phillips, CEO, Place Properties. “We are immensely grateful for the opportunity to participate in developing affordable workforce housing in the center of one of the most expensive multifamily housing markets in Atlanta. It can be done. We did it; and we intend to do more of it.”