Finalizing what has been rumored for months, State Farm announced this morning that it will build a campus just West of Perimeter Mall, adjacent to the Dunwoody MARTA station. The project will house 8,000 employees, including 3,000 new positions for Georgia. It’s a sign that job growth and renewed interest in development has returned to the Atlanta area.
The project will occupy 17 acres owned and developed by KDC Real Estate Development & Investments and leased to State Farm. The initial buildings will break ground this summer and occupy four acres, with the remaining build-out occurring over the next decade. The total development plan includes 2.2 Million square feet of office space, 100,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, and entertainment space, and a 200 room hotel.
KDC’s Larry Wilson said via press release, “KDC is excited to continue our relationship with State Farm through the creation of a transit oriented development in Dunwoody. This project will provide State Farm’s work force a continued platform for success with direct access to a true live-work-play environment and a MARTA station.”
Access to MARTA is both something companies in congested areas value, as well as something the transit authority is now promoting. Expanding transit further toward homes and businesses is expensive. Creating office space and residential housing around existing MARTA stations is a quicker and much cheaper alternative to booting ridership and reducing the number of cars on the regions roads.
MARTA recently announced a development for the area around the King Center station, choosing Walton Communities to build 386 apartments according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. From the same article:
“In 2012, MARTA identified at least 10 train stations as potential magnets for new mixed-use developments. MARTA hoped it could generate millions in additional revenue and ignite revitalization efforts around the stations.
The idea came as more developers showed interest in considering mixed-use projects near existing transit stations.
MARTA has undertaken similar efforts before, though its planners say not to this level.
It worked with the former BellSouth (now AT&T) and the developer Carter, for example, at Buckhead’s Lindbergh Center.”
State Farm is bringing the state 3,000 jobs. By choosing to develop a campus adjacent to an existing MARTA station, they’re likely bringing less than 3,000 new commuters for the region’s roads. Sounds like a win-win.