Atlanta MMPT Vision Statement + Executive Summary

Download the Vision Statement here.

Download the Executive Summary here.

The Urban Design team of Perkins+Will focuses on creating urban design solutions through multi-disciplinary collaboration. In the case of the Atlanta Multi-Modal Passenger Terminal (MMPT), the Atlanta and Chicago office worked on a proposal for a transportation-based redevelopment plan for downtown Atlanta. The successful redevelopment of this area will help build a foundation for Georgia’s transportation future while taking a page directly from its past. The very genesis of the area now known as Atlanta served as the zero mile marker for rail service. Prior to the arrival of white settlers, Five Points was the intersection of two Creek Indian trails, the Pitch Tree and Sandtown Trails.

According to the project sponsor, the Georgia Department of Transportation, “the MMPT will serve as the hub for existing and proposed transportation networks serving metro-Atlanta and beyond, including MARTA rail and bus systems, regional express bus systems and the Georgia railroad network. It may also accommodate future transportation, including high speed rail, light rail and streetcar services. In addition to its transportation functions, the MMPT will serve as a catalyst for one of the largest Transit Oriented Development projects in the US.”

The MMPT proposal required a Master Developer that has demonstrated experience in delivering large, complex projects involving transportation components that are integrated with commercial development. In providing a realistic and inspiring proposal, the team had to be able to confront financial and engineering challenges, such as varying topography combined with rail and roadway alignments that impact the locations for building support columns. Phasing the construction of the project, while keeping then entire build out plan in mind, was a planning, design and engineering feat further complicated by an unpredictable market.

The MMPT is envisioned as the Atlanta metropolitan region's major public transportation passenger terminal, with facilities for existing heavy rail Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), the City of Atlanta’s future Streetcar service, and other planned new passenger rail services, as well as bus services that include: intercity (e.g., Greyhound and Southeastern Stages), regional express (Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, Cobb County, Gwinnett County), charter and special event buses, and local MARTA bus and paratransit services.

In addition to serving as a transit hub, the MMPT is viewed as a catalyst for a significant transit oriented development. The proximity of the MMPT to the City of Atlanta’s central business district, the connection to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport via MARTA Five Points Station and future streetcar and planned regional light-rail lines provides an opportunity to create an active well-designed epicenter that accurately serves a mix of uses.

The purpose of the MMPT is to replace inadequate and disconnected transportation facilities, connect modes of transportation, increase ridership and facilitate and accommodate future transportation investments and economic development.

Additional goals of the proposal included the following:

  • Promote transfers between many different transportation modes, as well as pedestrian and bicycle access, on one site in a way that is efficient, logical, and safe
  • Encourage mixed-use, transit-oriented private development that complements the MMPT site and adjacent neighborhoods
  • Ensure that the design, materials, and scale of new architecture complement the adjacent historic buildings and neighborhoods
  • Connect neighborhoods now divided by the site with new pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle access
  • Produce a signature development that provides economic opportunities for the city, region, state and the nation
  • Pedestrian Emphasis:
    For long-term success the project design must respect, cater to and energize the pedestrian realm. While the distance to traverse is minimized between stations, the enticement to walk around and through the site was priority number one. Pedestrian activity is vital to area transit, restaurants and retailers.

    Unique and effective public outreach was also sought for this proposal. The Connect Atlanta Plan and the Atlantic Station and BeltLine projects also represent proven communication and outreach experience by numerous members of the team.

    The MMPT is an ambitious landmark project and the diligent assessment and planning of its funding constitutes a very important step to its successful implementation. The team’s legal and financial capabilities and national and international experience was also a key factor in this proposal.

    Key attributes of the team include:

    • Experience in developing and raising capital for complex real estate and infrastructure projects
    • Extensive knowledge of and experience with innovative financing mechanisms including PPPs
    • Financial soundness of the Equity Members of the Master Developer
    • Experience in and knowledge of federal programs and funding mechanisms
    • Familiarity amongst the team members and successful completion of joint projects
    • Deep knowledge and understanding of local priorities and concerns
    • Proven ability to work with local, regional and statewide stakeholders
    • Experience in managing and working with multi-disciplinary teams on large complex projects
    • Experience in creating innovative and visionary transportation and urban plans
    • Team commitment to sustainability and green urban practices
    • Demonstrated ability to complete projects in a timely fashion
    • Local market knowledge coupled with national and international know-how
    • Uniquely-qualified individuals who bring unparalleled government knowledge and project delivery skills

      The Vision:
      While open for future input the team provided a visionary design proposal based on historical lessons to create an inspiring vision that is expected to be further refined by the public, which includes residents, employees and students as well as regional event goers and out of state tourists. Click here for a complete copy of the Vision Section of the proposal.

      The Station:
      Defined primarily by the long physical connections required to access north-south oriented platforms from Five Points, the Station is more a network of linkages than a single centralized terminal. Layer in bus facilities, parking and freight traffic within a large but constrained district and the below-street levels are necessarily complex. The Station concept takes advantage of this sprawling condition by breaking down its comprehensive physical program into a series of independent, manageable projects. For example, the regional bus terminal is designed as part of the larger Station program, but along with a building above it, may be built years in advance of the rail components.

      The Station itself is an iconic glass structure, with ribbon skylights bringing daylight to the rail platforms below. The covered concourse connecting the primary Station entrance to the the Dome and Five Points MARTA Stations becomes an armature, one level below the street, along which a retail arcade, parking, bicycle facilities and other amenities are accessed. The brutal existing superstructure of the Five Points Station is removed and replaced with redesigned, daylighted public space.

      State Square:
      The highlight of the new district is the Central Green, a State Park that stretches between Peachtree Street and Philips Arena. Created by the extension of Wall and Alabama Streets all the way to Centennial Olympic Park Drive, the Central Green is an essential infrastructure element, the visible cap to the complex station below-grade. It slopes gently toward the retail concourse of the Station, offering an informal venue for music and other events. Above the concourse, a tree-lined Promenade runs along Alabama Street, providing sweeping views of the Central Green with multi-use kiosks and access to the concourse level. The State Square brings new life to the heart of the City with a programmable public space that will be visited by Atlantans, Georgians and visitors from around the world.