012721_MNS_housing_panel_004 MARTA’s Avondale station Columbia Senior Residences at Decatur East

The Columbia Senior Residences at Decatur East, located at MARTA’s Avondale station, are an example of affordable housing the transit agency has built, under construction or planned.

MARTA announced it has sold two pieces of land near the Avondale rail station in Decatur to a developer that will build 80 senior housing units there.

According to a news release, Columbia Residential will develop the affordable and mixed-income housing units in partnership with the Decatur Housing Authority. The parcels, totaling 1.45 acres, are the final two components of the master transit-oriented development (TOD) executed between MARTA, Columbia Ventures LLC and the city of Decatur. The sale price was not disclosed by MARTA.

The deal means MARTA has 1,500 affordable housing units throughout its system completed, under construction, in negotiation or in procurement/planning with several development partners.

“This sale represents another great effort by MARTA’s TOD team and supports our ongoing mission to provide equitable access to transit and affordable housing,” MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker said in the release. “Offering senior affordable housing next to our transit stations provides freedom and flexibility for the older members of our communities. Thank you to Columbia Residential for your continued partnership in bringing affordable units online near our rail stations.”

In the release, Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett added, “Older populations face numerous housing challenges, especially those related to affordability, physical accessibility and access to medical care inside and outside the home. To have affordable housing with direct access to transit and the greater MARTA system is an incredible advantage for our senior residents and greatly improves quality of life opportunities to connect with others and to needed services.”

The city of Decatur, Decatur Housing Authority and DeKalb County are providing financial backing for the new development, which adds to the 92 affordable senior units constructed in 2018 and provides housing for residents at a range of incomes below 80% of area median income.

The 80 additional one- and two-bedroom units and amenities targeted for seniors have direct access to the Avondale station.

“Columbia is extremely pleased to be able to continue our productive partnership of affordable and mixed-income housing in these key locations at MARTA stations. The commitment of MARTA and its land to housing affordability as a priority is facilitating affordable housing in transit-advantaged locations around metro Atlanta,” Columbia Residential President Jim Grauley said in the release.

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