Mayor Kasim Reed, Invest Atlanta and MARTA officially announced The iVillage @ MLK, a transit-oriented development made out of repurposed shipping containers, at H.E. Holmes MARTA Station.
“This shipping-container iVillage is not only the first of its kind in the State of Georgia, it’s another example of how the City of Atlanta supports innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Mayor Reed. “This concept is being featured in leading cities such as London, Copenhagen and San Francisco. With the new iVillage at the H.E. Holmes MARTA station, we are leveraging a smart, sustainable idea to expand our commitment to creating new hubs of innovation all over the City. I am pleased that this new iVillage will be one component of improvements and investments to improve mobility and access to economic opportunity along the Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive corridor.”
Once construction on the project is complete, the iVillage @ MLK will provide affordable, transit-accessible retail and office space for small businesses. A total of 14 shipping containers will be used to create around 6,500 square feet of commercial space. The development will also include sizable lawn and deck areas to host public events.
“I’m looking forward to the day when local entrepreneurs are here every day, bringing their new ideas and energy to this area,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, President and CEO of Invest Atlanta. “One day, we hope to see many of the businesses launched take root up and down the MLK Corridor and look forward to working with the community to make The iVillage @ MLK a place of pride and purpose.”
The iVillage @ MLK will provide the opportunity for reimagining the possibilities of a public space, putting it to new and attractive use for local businesses and residents. MARTA will examine future opportunities for transit-oriented development at H.E. Holmes Station to ensure more people can live affordably near our job centers and transit nodes.
Though this is the first project of its kind in Georgia, container villages have been launched around the world. Cities like Las Vegas, London, Copenhagen, and San Francisco have developed container villages to create new affordable retail or living space. Innovative developments like these around the world have been successful in not only economic growth, but also creating a greater sense of place within communities.
The iVillage @ MLK is part of the City of Atlanta’s larger effort continue to transform Westside communities, especially along the Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive Corridor. The iVillage is more than just development of office and retail space, it’s part of a larger strategy to bring economic investment to key commercial corridors throughout the city like MLK Drive.
Last year, the City of Atlanta was awarded a $10 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help improve MLK Drive. That grant is part of a $22.7 million effort to improve mobility and increase access to transit, employment centers and services along MLK.
Applications will be made available soon for entrepreneurs interested in leasing space at The iVillage @ MLK.