Metro Atlanta Gets Better Every Year
Welcome to Atlanta! You’ve relocated to a great city. In fact, more and
more people are realizing that Metro Atlanta is one
of the best places to live, work and play—as is evidenced
by the population that now totals more than 5
million. It would indeed be difficult for any new resident
not to find what he or she is looking for in Metro
Atlanta. The fastest-growing metropolitan area in the
United States from 2000 to 2006 and predicted to still
be attracting more people than any other place in the
country by 2020, Metro Atlanta boasts some of the
greatest places to visit, live, work, dine and shop—
and educational choices are nearly limitless. With
every new year, the options available for an exceptional
life in Metro Atlanta increase significantly—and
2008 will be no exception. Here’s a look at some of
the exciting happenings in Metro Atlanta in the new
year, from hot real estate developments to burning
cultural events to innovative programs in education.
Even many of Metro Atlanta’s new residential communities are mixed-use, featuring retail space to offer residents the convenience of on-site shops and restaurants. Cornerstone on the Square (770-338-4980, www. cornerstoneonthesquare.com), a development offering the first opportunity for residential living on Lawrenceville’s Historic Square, will feature 12 luxury condominiums, 17 townhomes and four courtyard residences—a gated entry, low-maintenance living and balconies that overlook the Square will be complemented by street-level retail. Also featuring street-level retail, Castleberry Point Lofts (404-688-9900, www.castleberrypoint.com) will offer residents a rooftop pool with spectacular views of Downtown, a clubhouse, fitness center and open-air courtyard. There are also “green,” or eco-friendly, mixed-use developments in the works. In late 2008, the East Lake area will welcome the $1.5-million project Twenty Four-Twenty Four ELV (404-223-5662, www.theartiscompany.com), developed by the Atlanta-based real estate group The Artis Company. The community combines live/work residential condominiums with sophisticated rooftop sunrooms as well as retail space—residents of Twenty Four will be able to walk to the nearby stunning golf communities in East Lake.
A type of development that could perhaps be considered a mixed-use development on a grander scale is a master-planned community—which has been gaining momentum and will continue to do so in 2008. Projects that are master-planned generally feature a tremendous number of amenities and conveniences, as the future needs of the residents are anticipated and included in the original plan. In addition to shops and residences, master-planned communities also feature extensive recreational opportunities such as bike paths, expansive parks and green space, jogging trails and lakes. Several new neighborhoods will be opening in 2008 in David Chatham and John Wieland’s master-planned community River Green (678-493-4874, www.rivergreenusa.com) in Canton, which will feature many of the aforementioned amenities—plans also include the community’s own school as well as a childcare center.
Metro Atlanta already boasts some of the finest eateries around, but 2008 will expand these options. With the addition of an eatery that prides itself on offering the perfect blend of food and drink, the debut of a famous New York City bistro and the addition of a restaurant from a New York celebrity chef, the new year certainly looks to be a promising one for Metro Atlanta foodies.
Early 2008 will see the opening of the new Midtown Atlanta location of 5 Seasons Brewing Company (770-521-5551, www.5seasonsbrewing.com), devoted to serving local produce, artisanal cheeses and all-natural meats—they masterfully create more than 60 different styles of beer every year. For those seeking a fine-dining experience, Craft (www.craftrestaurant.com), a 100-seat fine-dining restaurant opening in The Mansion on Peachtree in spring 2008, comes from chef Tom Colicchio, famous for his work on the reality TV show “Top Chef.” Also opening in the spring, Dogwood, an upscale restaurant located at the luxury condominium development The Reynolds on Peachtree, will offer American cuisine with Southern touches.
In December 2008, one of New York City’s finest restaurants will make its Southern debut in Atlanta. BLT Steak (www.bltsteak.com), or Bistro Laurent Tourondel (named for executive chef Laurent Tourondel), blends a traditional steakhouse with a French bistro, offering a selection of Japanese Kobe and American Wagyu, delicious Gruyère cheese popovers and a variety of signature side dishes, sauces and desserts.
In an area filled with world-renowned exhibitions, original productions and exceptional performance facilities, those relocating to Metro Atlanta should expect the best—and 2008 should provide just that. With major arts and entertainment happenings throughout the new year, Metro Atlanta’s reputation as a cultural hotspot is sure to continue.
In the new year, one of Broadway’s best-loved musicals is coming to Atlanta’s Fox Theatre (404-817-8700, www.foxtheatre.org). Oprah Winfrey, Scott Sanders and the producing team of The Color Purple: A Musical About Love announced that Atlanta would host the first North American Touring production of the smash hit from July 15 through August 3. With a Grammy-nominated score featuring gospel, blues, jazz and pop, the show tells the inspiring story of a woman struggling to find herself.
A partnership that was many years in the making was finally realized in October 2006—when the Musée du Louvre came to Atlanta’s own High Museum (404-733-5000, www.high.org). Hundreds of works of art from the Louvre will be displayed at the High through 2009 in a series of special exhibitions over three years—many of these works have never been seen before in the United States. The new year will include both Year Two’s “The Louvre and the Ancient World,” featuring masterpieces from the Louvre’s Egyptian, Near Eastern and Greco-Roman antiquities departments, and Year Three’s “The Louvre of Today and Tomorrow,” which will highlight the present-day Louvre and explore its new relations with society and the world.
Another stunning collection opens at the High in June—“Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956-1968,” the most comprehensive art-museum exhibition devoted to photography of the Civil Rights Movement in more than two decades, will feature approximately 130 powerful images that helped change the nation.
Metro Atlanta is fast becoming a New York City- or Chicago-style shopping destination. Just as New York has Madison Avenue, and Chicago has the Magnificent Mile, Atlanta will have its own Midtown Mile (404-892-4782, www.midtownmile.org). The development, which will encompass 14 consecutive blocks on Peachtree Street, will merge new and existing retail into an urban, sophisticated shopping district boasting more than 1 million square feet of street-level retail. National brands and local boutiques will offer visitors cutting-edge style. The project is scheduled for completion in 2012, but development is underway.
In early 2008, Atlantic Station (404-888-4900, www.atlanticstation.com), one of Atlanta’s hottest shopping destinations, will welcome trendy European retailer H&M. The popular Swedish fashion store’s first Southeast location will include 25,000-square-feet of space overlooking Central Park.
The development of Midtown Mile, the debut of H&M and the expansion of Lenox Square are sure to cement Atlanta’s status as a fashion-savvy city.
From public to private, from magnet to charter and from special needs to single-gender, Metro Atlanta’s educational landscape is rife with choices. The area boasts some of the top colleges—U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges 2008 ranks many of Metro Atlanta’s colleges and universities among the top 50 in the country. Indeed, the area is home to some of the best schools—and efforts are made every year to make these schools even better.
Atlanta Public Schools (404-802-3500, www.atlanta.k12.ga.us) is piloting two single-gender academies as a result of research showing that such schools improve academic achievement, significantly increase graduation rates and produce a higher number of students who attend college. In addition, The Georgia Department of Education (www.gadoe.org) is raising the bar for high school students—new graduation requirements will go into effect for first-time freshmen beginning with the 2008-2009 school year. Under the new requirements, all students will need 23 units to graduate, eliminating the state’s previous “tiered” system in which total units required depended upon diploma program studied.
The innovative Partners in Education program continues to benefit Metro Atlanta students. Through the program, businesses and organizations sign up to become partners with local schools, providing students with instructional materials and educational opportunities. For example, as a Marietta City Schools partner, the Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi provides students with a mentoring program. Other partners include The Atlanta History Center, Office Depot, Georgia Public Broadcasting and Zoo Atlanta.
Clearly, Metro Atlanta offers high-quality learning opportunities—and these innovative opportunities are likely to increase and improve with every new year.