The Civic Center MARTA station has always been a bit revolutionary. Built both underground and above a highway, its perch in downtown Atlanta is unique in the world. Outside the station you’ll find both old and new construction, including Twelve Centennial Park (one of the tallest luxury high-rises in the city), the 1898 Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the National Register of Historic Places and remnants of Atlanta’s Carnegie Library in Hardy Ivy Park. But there’s a lot more going on than just interesting architecture. The Civic Center station is on track to be in one of Atlanta’s next hot spots.
The Station That Could
In the past few years, steady construction projects, cultural attractions and transit options have slowly been putting the Civic Center MARTA station on the map. The arrival of Megabus service in 2011 noticeably increased the popularity of the area, which has since expanded to include modern condos, hotels and office buildings, the new National Center for Civil and Human Rights at Pemberton Place (less than a 10-minute walk away) and the recently renovated Children’s Museum of Atlanta.
Aloft Atlanta Downtown hotel also made a debut in 2014, but you don’t have to be a tourist to appreciate the fact that at or near the station you can hop on a bus to another city, ride a train to the airport in 18 minutes, have a cocktail at the W hotel or bite to eat at one of the few outdoor patios in downtown courtesy of the independently-owned Max Lager’s Wood-Fired Grill and Brewery.
Plus, if you haven’t been to the area recently, it’s just flat-out nicer than other parts of downtown. There are less panhandlers (depending on the direction you walk), attractive new buildings, greenspace and a few quaint streets that are about to get a major face lift.
Construction has started on a large apartment project, Post Centennial Park (pictured above), that will create over 400 units within a short walk of the MARTA station. The development next to Centennial Olympic Park Drive will include retail stores and tree-lined streets that will add life to this underused part of the city. As a bonus, Post announced that 10 percent of the rentals will remain affordable at a projected rent of $1,090 per month.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Civic Center station, the massive 380,000-square-foot Atlanta Civic Center on Piedmont Avenue will undergo a major transformation in the near future. Development plans are not yet finalized, but could include retail, restaurants, offices and housing. But you don’t have to wait for this project to finalize in order to move to the area — across the street from the now-closed venue you’ll find townhomes and apartments for rent as well as lofts for sale.
As land is developed and more pedestrians and residents take to the surrounding streets, it will only be a matter of time before the interesting space between downtown and Midtown becomes a desirable destination. Walking to work or concert in the park, easily traveling to the airport without a car and enjoying both historic and modern living in the heart of the city are all possibilities in reach.