A rendering of the future plaza area at Five Points station. (Courtesy MARTA)

MARTA’s board of directors has approved the selection of architectural, urban planning and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) to lead the transformation of Five Points rail station in Downtown.

SOM will oversee the deconstruction of the massive canopy in the center of Five Points Station, the design of the potential connection from Marietta Street to Alabama Street, and the re-creation of a public plaza space. The scope of work also includes laying the groundwork for future transit-oriented development (TOD) over the station.

“We recognize that the original construction of Five Points, while a massive investment in City and transit infrastructure development at the time, eliminated several old city-block buildings and bifurcated Broad Street,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker. “This transformation seeks to repair some of that urban fabric and reimagine this space as a bustling transit hub that improves the customer experience and contributes to the greater aesthetic and unique feel of downtown.”

SOM will spend the next few months preparing for the most difficult part of the project –  the deconstruction of the canopy, and closure of the opening that looks down from the plaza level to the concourse and the removal of the large sign that hangs below it. MARTA is in the procurement process for a construction manager at risk (CMAR) and will come before the board in October to request approval.

Construction will begin late this year or early next, with a completion date in 2025, with a buffer of time for any contingencies, before Atlanta hosts the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Five Points is MARTA’s largest and busiest rail station and is the main transfer point between the system’s North/South and East/West rail lines and a hub for 10 bus routes. All bus and rail service will continue to operate out of Five Points during the work and construction of the City’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) line to the Summerhill neighborhood with a connection to Five Points, will also progress with service scheduled to begin in fall 2024.

The overall budget for the Five Points station transformation is $150 million and is funded by the More MARTA half-penny sales tax in the City of Atlanta.