Downtown Atlanta Has a Great Soundtrack
By Sarah Kirsch
We loved our Atlanta offices, which for years were in a lovely green campus in Cumberland-Galleria. We were always steps away from other office buildings, a hotel, and a mall.
Last week, we moved to downtown Atlanta and I quickly remembered why there is nothing like downtowns in many big cities. Downtown Atlanta has its own soundtrack – and it changes all day long.
On Tuesday, as I walked down Peachtree, I heard music coming from The Hard Rock, The Ellis Hotel, a local shop. Each one took me back to a different time in my life. Much like a song from The Big Chill will immediately transport me back to the beach or a song from Stand By Me sends me to singing all of the songs with my best friends from growing up. In the street, each car offered a different beat, reminding me of blaring the Singles soundtrack from my first car.
ULI believes in areas with great access to transit, strong walkability, and ones that create opportunities to organically connect with our members. We believe locations such as these will be the most resilient over time.
When it came time to move ULI Atlanta’s offices, we also wanted to lead by example. You see, the decision was in-part philosophical. Both Galleria and Downtown offer their own unique set of benefits and there are some adjustments to being downtown.
In my five days in downtown, however, I am struck by how the art of a place and very often the small things create the environment. It reminds me of the advice in Life’s Little Instruction Handbook, to “think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.” Downtown Atlanta in the spring is full of small pleasures from the daffodils to bright skyline views to people playing chess in Woodruff Park. But I think the most enjoyable these last few days has been the soundtrack – the live musician playing drums on the street corner, and the more abstract acoustics of the bus, peoples’ voices, and footsteps down the sidewalk. The soundtrack of a bustling city gives it energy and makes it come alive.
Bringing together the practitioners of said arts and sciences – architecture, planning, development, housing, capital markets, and more – to serve the greater purpose of creating and sustaining thriving communities is what ULI is all about. We are looking forward to being reminded of that every day.
I don’t buy soundtracks anymore and am not sure if anyone else does but I’m digging the downtown soundtrack right now. I recommend listening to it. It’ll bring back good memories.