Decatur

Intown trend spells the end of sprawl in Atlanta

Could it be that, along with the increasingly popular trend of living "intown," now sprawl in Atlanta has ended?  That's the conclusion of a report from the School of Business at George Washington University. Report author Christopher Leinberger, a professor of urban real estate and chair of the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University told USA Today, "Atlanta has reached peak sprawl. This is the end of that trend."

Walkable intown communities are preferred by young professionals and by high-tech businesses over automobile-dependent suburban neighborhoods. As we've mentioned previously, neighborhoods near downtown Atlanta have seen a 61 percent surge in young professional residents who have at least a four-year degree since 2000. These kind of communities, which comprise less than 1% of the Atlanta region's land area, accounted for 60% of the growth in income-generating real estate (offices, retail spaces, rental apartments and hotels) over the past four years, Leinberger said. This trend has steadily and rapidly increased in each of the last three real estate market cycles. Further, real estate products in established walkable intown communities command rents that are 112% higher than those in drivable suburban areas.

Of course, this doesn't mean that all of the sprawl that has occurred over the last several decades will somehow magically vanish. A drive from Lake Lanier to the airport during a Friday-500 rush-hour will remain an experience you'll want to avoid at all costs, if you wish to retain your sanity. So that...