New report reveals historic shift in real estate demand in Atlanta, GA

Atlanta's Five Points neighborhood
Atlanta’s Little Five Points Neighborhood. Photo via Flickr.

Walkable urban development is now the primary real estate market in one of the nation’s most unlikely regions: metropolitan Atlanta, GA.

That’s according to The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: Atlanta, a new report released today and authored by Christopher Leinberger, President of Smart Growth America’s LOCUS coalition of real estate developers and investors, and published by The George Washington University School of Business.

The report finds that walkable urban development represents a growing share of new development in the Atlanta region. These neighborhoods are popular: WalkUPs occupy only 1/200th of metro Atlanta’s land area but account for 20 percent of the region’s office, retail and other commercial property. And they command a premium: the average rent in WalkUPs in Atlanta is 112% higher than drivable suburban real estate.

The report identifies 46 walkable urban places (the so-called “WalkUPs” referenced in the title), categorizing them as either ‘established’, ‘emerging or ‘potential’. The report then evaluates the neighborhoods based on a variety of factors, and encourages policy makers and real estate developers to respond to the growing market demand by putting the necessary infrastructure and zoning in place to enable the construction of more walkable places to satisfy it.

The report was officially released earlier today at the Atlanta Regional Commission, where Leinberger was joined by Dan Reuter, Community Development Division Manager of the Atlanta Regional Commission;
Ellen Dunham-Jones, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the Georgia Institute of Technology; and Jim Durrett, Executive Director of the Buckhead Community Improvement District in discussing the report’s findings.

Download the full report: The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: Atlanta.