24 Jun Atlanta’s Revitalization

Film Studios, Huge Adaptive Reuse projects, The Atlanta Beltline and Streetcar, the proposed New Falcons Stadium. These are just a few of the much talked about and celebrated developments in Atlanta in the past few years, and that list doesn’t even begin to cover the number of major companies considering moving to Atlanta or expanding their existing Atlanta presence. As the economy begins to look up, Atlantans are looking to the future of their city again, and if the news coming out of almost every publication in the area, from The Atlanta Business Chronicle to Creative Loafing, is any indicator, the future of the city is beginning to look very bright, and very different.

The famed Atlanta Beltline has been the focus of both local and national news, with its unique design and purpose being hailed as a model for cities across the country and around the world.  Bringing more than just a transportation alternative to MARTA or driving, the beltline is creating a new cultural experience in Atlanta with its many parks, public art, and events like the Beltline Running Series and Arts on The Atlanta Beltline. Continue down the beltline and you will find the largest adaptive reuse project in the city’s history. Ponce City Market is slated to open its doors in the spring of 2014, and will offer a unique shopping, dining, living and working experience. The mixed use community will be like nothing the city has seen before; offering 300,000 sf of retail and restaurant space, 450,000 sf of office space and 260 residential units. Not too far from the revitalized property stands Krog Street Market, another adaptive reuse project that is working towards a summer 2013 opening. Similar to Ponce City Market, Krog Street Market will also be a mixed use development offering retail space, dining space and up to 300 apartments, but its central focus will be a West Coast Style outdoor market.

From reusing the old to building the very new. The new Falcons stadium has been a topic of debate for a while now, but a few things are certain; a new stadium will be built somewhere in the general vicinity of the Georgia Dome, it’s going to be big, and it may very well look like something straight out of The Jetsons. Perhaps the most needed development in Atlanta in the coming years will be the Atlanta Streetcar. The streetcar will be a low emissions vehicle that will run North-South and East-West through the city, allowing less reliance on cars (less traffic!) for both Atlanta Area Residents and Visitors to the city. In collaboration with the Beltline, the Atlanta Streetcar aims to make Atlanta a much more transit-, and potentially tourist-friendly city.

All of this development is just one of the indicators of the exciting growth and future of the city. In 2012, Atlanta set a record of 40 million visitors to the city, opening talks for more possible tourism features and attractions. More permanent residential growth will be brought to the city and the metro area as major companies, including Spanx , AIG, Comdata, Pandora Radio and Infosys are either looking to move to the city or expand their current Atlanta Presence.

Perhaps one of the most unique and exciting future developments the city has to look forward to is the growth of “Hollywood South”. It’s no secret that many films and TV shows are being filmed at locations around the city, and Tyler Perry’s studios are located on the south side of the city. But, with the recent news from English production company, Pinewood Studios (Most famous for producing the James Bond films) of opening a studio just south of Atlanta in Fayetteville, and plans already laid for another large film studio north of the city in Gwinnett, and Triple Horse’s plan to build five sound stages in Newton County, “Hollywood South” may turn out to be more than just a nickname in the coming years.

There is a generational shift towards more urban housing happening as Millenials begin to look to city life instead of the suburban lifestyle ideal of their grandparents, post World War II. This is causing cities across the nation to predict a surge in growth, but with all of the unique opportunities in this city alone, Atlanta will be at the forefront of that growth.

Image courtesy of AtlantaStreetcar.org

Sibet B Freides