iVillage at MLK

An innovative shipping container village offering space for affordable, attractive, and transit-accessible retail.

Investing in the MLK Corridor

The iVillage at MLK will house a mix of entrepreneurs that could benefit from innovative office space, along with affordable retail, food and beverage options, as they launch businesses and test new ideas along the MLK Corridor. We’re looking for a mixture of tenants that both represent the community’s needs and new, innovative business ideas that provide an attraction to the HE Holmes Marta station.

About The iVillage

Supporting Atlanta’s Entrepreneurs

The MLK iVillage will soon incubate innovation by housing an exciting mix of entrepreneurs. The goal is to see these businesses thrive and one day spin off to expand along the MLK Corridor. During the construction phase of the Innovation Village, Invest Atlanta will solicit applications for tenants, and those who are chosen will pay an affordable monthly rental rate.

Enhancing the MLK, Jr. Drive Corridor

In 2016, the City of Atlanta was awarded a $10 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation toward a $22 million project to improve mobility and increase access to transit, employment centers, and services along MLK Jr. Drive. The investment in The MLK iVillage is part of this larger effort, led by former Mayor Kasim Reed and supported by Mayor Keisha Bottoms, to make Atlanta’s MLK Corridor one of the most vibrant in the nation.

Transit-oriented Development

Invest Atlanta is partnering with MARTA on this project as an innovative opportunity to jumpstart future interest in transit-oriented development (TOD) at H.E. Holmes Station. This pilot project can serve as a model for other MARTA locations around the city and region.

iVillage @MLK Timeline:​

  • Launch and opening: Q2/Q3, 2018

Who is the iVillage @ MLK for?

  • Aspiring entrepreneurs: Young entrepreneurs that are high potential and testing first businesses

  • Access: Businesses that provide access to fresh foods/ food entrepreneurs

  • Community focus: Tenants with strong community focus and benefit

  • Educators: Providing youth / workforce educational programs

  • Conveners: Provide type of programming or product has ability to convene

  • Social entrepreneurs: Solving community need with innovative solutions

Tenant Responsibilities:

  • Ability to commit to one year lease at $700/month (food and beverage outfits will require different terms)
  • Availability to commit to fixed, regular hours each week to operate the business
  • Submission of business model and financials, which includes an understanding of the capital required to open a container store
  • Strong commitment to the community around HE Holmes Marta Station

Tentant Evaluation Criteria:

Tenant candidates will be evaluated on their 1) readiness to be a part of the program and 2) their ability to provide unique value to the iVillage at MLK community. During the interview process, an advisory committee selected from the community will rank the tenants based on the following criteria.

Readiness:
  • Business stability and ability to commit to year lease at $700?
  • Are they in the position to fully take advantage of the opportunity and thrive?
  • Can they commit the necessary resources to areas such as marketing to attract customers?
Problem and Market Need:
  • Clearly defined problem and customers?
  • Clear users of the solution within the community?
Solution:
  • Is the solution timely, relevant to community, and provide value to the current mix of tenants?
Innovative:
  • Does this solution provide novel approaches that do not currently exist or are not delivered to their full potential?
  • Will this solution attract new customers to the HE Holmes station?
Community driven:
  • Does this company provide additional benefits to the communities around HE Holmes Marta station?
  • Is the tenant particularly committed to bettering the community? How?
  • Does this business have the potential to generate additional jobs?
Business Model:
  • Do we think this founder can execute on the business plan?
  • Beyond idea, does the founder have a firm understanding of business operations and their business model?
  • Is this founder a self-starter who holds themselves accountable and is open to guidance on how to improve?

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