Atlanta's Summerhill Development Celebrates Milestones

Monday, June 26th, 2023

In the coming weeks, the culmination of years of neighborhood partnerships and thoughtful growth will come to fruition with the groundbreaking of the Summerhill Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line and the ribbon cutting and grand opening of the Summerhill Publix grocery store. The relationships and partnerships forged by Carter, an Atlanta-based commercial real estate development company and the master developer of the Summerhill mixed-use project, have helped pave the way to give one of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods a new sense of place.

“With the new Summerhill BRT line officially breaking ground, and the Summerhill neighborhood Publix opening within one week of each other, this is a moment to recognize these events as the realization of a shared vision for what is possible in Atlanta’s oldest neighborhood,” says Scott Taylor, president and CEO of Carter. “Since our team’s first meetings with the neighborhood in 2014, we’ve known that residents’ top aspirations were to attract a grocery store and to improve transportation. This week, we are witnessing both of those priorities become a reality.”

Summerhill’s main thoroughfare, Hank Aaron Drive, will soon be home to Atlanta’s first BRT route, connecting the Atlanta BeltLine to the Five Points MARTA station. BRT combines the best features of light rail and a bus by utilizing electric-powered buses that use dedicated bus lanes and priority traffic signal timing, allowing riders to bypass traffic. Once completed in summer 2025, buses will depart every 10-12 minutes with a total travel time of 12-15 minutes from Five Points to the Carver High School stop along the Atlanta BeltLine’s Southside Trail.

“A key component of a thriving neighborhood is the presence of quality, accessible transportation,” continues Taylor. “We believe MARTA’s state-of-the-art BRT system will be a social and economic boon for the entire area. The Summerhill BRT will not only improve mobility and access to employment local centers but also will give residents improved access to Atlanta’s regional network of transportation options. With over $850 million of development already completed or underway in Summerhill – new businesses, homes, and jobs – the BRT will play a key part in ensuring continued growth and sustainability in our area for years to come.”

Stemming from the overwhelming need to mitigate Summerhill’s status as a food desert, the Carter team worked for over three years to attract Publix to the area and to design a unique store that celebrates the historic neighborhood. The 50,000 SF full-service store is adjacent to 35,000 SF of ancillary retail with a range of restaurants and service providers that line Hank Aaron Drive.

“We’re proud that Publix is opening in Summerhill and believe this addition will fulfill a longstanding need in the area,” said Taylor. “All communities deserve to have healthy food options and a quality grocery store close to home.”

The Summerhill BRT groundbreaking took place on Thursday, June 15, at 11 a.m. in Summerhill Parking Lot A at the corner of Hank Aaron Drive and Georgia Avenue. Publix ribbon-cutting took place on Wednesday, June 21, at 6:45 a.m. in front of the store at 572 Hank Aaron Dr. SE.