MARTA has canceled a commercial and residential development at its Brookhaven transit station amid a rift with the city about financing for of the project.
Last week Mayor John Ernst sought to delay the rezoning the 15-acre site and announced the city would suspend all work on an incentive request submitted to the Brookhaven Development Authority. On Thursday, the MARTA Board of Directors canceled the project.
MARTA’s decision appears to scuttle a project that advocates hoped would create thousands of jobs and amount to a new downtown for Brookhaven.
It’s also a setback for MARTA’s plans to create a series of “transit-oriented developments” around its station, like the mix of apartments, condos and retail and office space at its Lindbergh station. Similar developments are planned for the Arts Center, Chamblee, King Memorial and Avondale stations.
MARTA issued a statement saying the city’s repeated delays in rezoning the property contributed to the decision to kill it. It also said the need for public financing has been made clear since the project’s inception.
“We are disappointed that we will not be able to advance this project to implementation,” the statement said. “MARTA staff will now shift focus to implementing TOD projects at stations where greater readiness exists.”
Ernst issued his own statement.
“While the city recognizes the tremendous effort that MARTA has put into this project, we feel that more work is needed to make the development a true City Center,” he said.
“We’re sorry we had to stop negotiations on the financing of this project,” Ernst said. “The developer’s ask kept growing and the guarantees on delivery kept shrinking. But we look forward to a public/private partnership that has more private dollars than public.”