Residential options boost Downtown
By Randy Southerland
Downtown Atlanta is on the verge of a historic transformation as this business and office district becomes a highly desirable place to live.
“Historically the downtown market just hasn’t been considered a residential market like Midtown and Buckhead particularly,” said David Stockert, CEO and president, Post Properties Inc.“Now we’re on the cusp of that changing.”
With more than 800 residential units planned for the area by Post and other developers this year, the full-time residential population is reaching the point where the retail that traditionally follows rooftops is now starting to show up.
These are big changes for an area that, historically, has never had a real residential population, according to Tim Crimmins, professor of history and director of the Center for Neighborhood and Metropolitan Studies at Georgia State University.
Downtown began to develop with Peachtree Center in the 1960s and ’70s with the first residential units at the Landmark – now converted to condos. The perception of the area as a desirable residential locale began to change after the 1996 Summer Olympics.
An even bigger driver has been Georgia State University, whose students and faculty are a big part of the estimated 25,000 people who already live here.
“It’s a natural place for people to want to live and so the only question is, who’s going to move in there first and are others going to follow?” Crimmins said.
New developments include Post Properties’ planned 400-unit Centennial Park Apartments near Ivan Allen Plaza. Paces Properties Inc. bought 250 Piedmont and plans to turn it into an apartment tower.