An innovative new retail and office hub is coming to Atlanta. The City of Atlanta, along with MARTA and local development agency Invest Atlanta, recently announced The iVillage @ MLK, a transit-oriented development made out of repurposed shipping containers at H.E. Holmes MARTA Station, according to a press release from Invest Atlanta.
“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,” former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said. “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.”
According to the release, the iVillage @ MLK will provide affordable, transit-accessible retail and office space for small businesses. Fourteen shipping containers will be used to create around 6,500 square feet of commercial space, which will also include sizable lawn and deck areas for public events.
The iVillage @ MLK is part of an ongoing city effort to transform Westside communities.
“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,” the release said.
Last year, Atlanta was awarded a $10 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help improve Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, which is part of a larger effort to improve accessibility in the area, according to the release.
“I’m looking forward to the day when local entrepreneurs are here every day, bringing their new ideas and energy to this area,” Eloisa Klementich, President and CEO of Invest Atlanta, said. “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 release said that MARTA will look into future opportunities for transit-oriented development at H.E. Holmes Station to ensure more people can live affordably near centers for jobs and transit.
Applications will be made available soon for entrepreneurs interested in leasing space at The iVillage @ MLK.