This design concept by FXFOWLE and Cooper Carry for Atlanta's new intermodal center provides for a single building encompassing one block with three bus levels.

A $1-billion intermodal center being developed in Atlanta via a public-private partnership received a boost from the White House recently that could help accelerate the project by as much as a year, officials say.

The Georgia Dept. of Transportation is leading the FXFOWLE and Cooper Carry-designed MultiModal Passenger Terminal (MMPT) project as part of its P3 program, backed by MARTA, the Atlanta Regional Commission, the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, Central Atlanta Progress/Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, and the city of Atlanta.

GDOT describes the project as a “transportation hub that provides a central facility and transfer point for (Atlanta’s) existing and future intercity, regional and local transit services.” The program for the facility currently calls for 80 bus bays; five rail platforms, accommodating up to five tracks; street car platforms; and parking. Other firms involved with the project include DLA Piper, Kimley-Horn, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Sykes Consulting and Thornton Tomasetti, among others.

At a July public presentation about the project, John Schuyler, a principal with FXFOWLE, described three different concepts for the facility, with options using between one and three city blocks, and between one and three bus levels.

In late July, the Obama administration announced it was adding the MMPT project to the Federal Infrastructure Projects Permitting Dashboard, thus expediting its federal permitting and review by as much as a year, according to the project team. HNTB is working with GDOT on assessing the project’s environmental issues.

According to GDOT, the project’s developer will have the rights to develop related retail, commercial, and residential projects. That P3 team includes Forest City Enterprises of Cleveland, and two Atlanta-based firms, The Integral Group and Cousins Properties.

“The selection of the MMPT project … by the Obama Administration will help get this region moving,” John McColl, executive vice president with Cousins Properties, stated in response to the Obama administration’s acceleration of the project.

GDOT is planning to locate the MMPT on a 119-acre site in the Gulch district of downtown Atlanta, near Philips Arena and CNN Center. At present, the agency has not yet produced a construction schedule for the project, and design work is ongoing. Information from GDOT describes the size of the future station as between 15 and 20 acres. The current cost estimate for the project is $1.2 billion, says GDOT.