09 Dec Atlanta Apartments – Changing More than the Landscape of a City?

Atlanta has seen steady growth in the past few decades, and has quickly become a hub for everything from international business headquarters to music and a promising future as the Hollywood of the South. While commercial development has been almost city-wide, much of the growth in the residential sector has been focused in the suburban areas outside of the perimeter and distinct sections around the city.  This has lead to a sort-of imbalance in the vibrancy of the city, with some areas being active, exciting and in-demand 24 hours a day, while other areas that are busy and in full use during the day, become quiet and empty after 6pm.

It seems to be the general consensus among Atlanta developers that a lack of residential options in commercial areas is causing professionals who would prefer to live close to where they work to seek out other areas. Those areas are the vibrant neighborhoods in the city that have available residential options and plenty to do, just steps from apartments, townhomes, and houses. To keep up, the commercial areas in Atlanta need a “makeover” to become more like the rest of the city.

That makeover is underway in the form of apartments. According to an article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the current number of new apartments proposed or under construction in Atlanta is around 13,460. And, these developments are located in largely commercial areas like Buckhead,  The Old Fourth Ward, , Midtown and East Atlanta Village. To some, this is a sign of positive growth and expansion in the city, but many Atlantans are concerned about the effects this growth will have on their home. They question whether this is a “Wave” of growth, or if it is more akin to a “Tsunami” that will drown Atlanta in even more traffic and congestion.

Of course, traffic will always be a concern in any city, and as Atlanta has a history of being a “driving city” that concern is valid. But the influx of people will be coming into areas that are within walking distance of work, play, public transportation and two massive projects that are specifically aimed at decreasing car dependency (The Atlanta Beltline and the PATH400 trail in Buckhead). These residents may not be giving up their cars completely, but they probably won’t be sitting in rush hour traffic for two hours everyday, either.

And, as other neighborhoods in the city like Virginia Highlands and Decatur have proven, younger professionals will bring energy and disposable income. Not only will these qualities attract more development, retail and dining, they will bring a change in the atmosphere of areas like Downtown. Instead of getting out of work and driving out to another part of town for dinner, these residents will be meeting friends for dinner or shopping or going for a run, all in an area that is just blocks from where they live and work. As these residents begin to call these neighborhoods “home”, the areas will resemble other, more vibrant areas, making Atlanta an even more exciting city, all thanks to the apartment boom.

Sibet B Freides