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June/July 2008

50 Great Communities
Atlanta offers a perfect place to live for every type of person
by WHITNEY BRENNAN AND BETH SAWICKI

Smyrna Market Village
Moving to a new city is an exciting time. Relocating offers an opportunity for a new—and better—life. It’s no wonder that so many are attracted to the Metro Atlanta area. It is home to many vibrant communities— distinctive cities, towns and neighborhoods, each with its own unique appeal. Finding the right community will require some research, so be sure to determine what factors are important. For example, do you want to be close to work; live in a family-friendly community with quality schools nearby; live in a newer home or one with a rich history; or be within walking distance of shops and restaurants?

Metro Atlanta is home to numerous exceptional neighborhoods, so for practical reasons, they cannot all be included here. The following communities represent what we consider to be some of the most popular places to live in Metro Atlanta. Some have been admired for years, while others have been beautifully restored through revitalization efforts—and many are experiencing tremendous growth. Take a look—whether flying solo or with a family, you’re sure to find a neighborhood that appeals.

 
Alpharetta
$430,737 | F | YP | NC
Celebrating 150 years, Alpharetta offers world-class shopping and entertainment, exceptional dining, award-winning parks and numerous housing options. The Big Creek Greenway, a wide, paved path winding through wooded wetlands for more than six miles, is the ideal setting for a hike or bike ride. In May, the city celebrated the grand opening of its 12,000-seat outdoor concert venue, the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, which is owned and operated by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Ansley Park/Druid Hills
$1,079,830/$691,926 | F | EN | HA | W
Some of the finest examples of period architecture can be found in these neighborhoods. Developer Edwin P. Ansley modeled his Ansley Park on park designs by famed architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The neighborhood, featuring wide winding streets, backs up to Midtown and offers a suburban lifestyle in the heart of the city. Druid Hills, designed by Olmsted, is surrounded by parks and is next door to Emory University. The neighborhood also is home to Minton Hall, an enclave of four luxurious estate homes by Whitehall Homes.

Atlantic Station Park District
Atlantic Station
$ not available | YP | EN | NC | W
This compact, walkable community for living, working and shopping boasts various housing options, from urban lofts to single-family homes to luxury condominium developments such as The Atlantic. In May, the neighborhood welcomed The Millennium Gate, a 74-foot monument that houses a 12,000-square-foot museum and resembles arches like the Arch of Titus in Rome and the St. Denis Arch in Paris.

Avondale Estates
$326,130 | F | EN | HA | W
Residents in this historic neighborhood enjoy a close-knit community feel and a one-half-mile man-made central lake. Since its inception in 1924, Avondale has continued to be the ideal suburb. The neighborhood, close to the cities of Atlanta and Decatur, also offers wide sidewalks, great dining options and a swim/tennis club.

Brookhaven
$707,070 | F | EN | HA
Developed as Atlanta’s first country club neighborhood, Brookhaven features wide winding streets, sweeping lawns and large elegant Tudor-, Colonial-, English- and Georgian-style cottage homes. The Capital City Country Club golf course is the heart of Brookhaven. The neighborhood, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is conveniently located just one mile from Lenox Square Mall and Phipps Plaza. One of its latest residential developments, 2360 Logan Circle is a community of 13 European-style luxury condos by Whitehall Homes.

Buckhead
$1,484,370 | YP | EN | NC | HA | W
 
 Buckhead
 Photo: 1998, Kevin C. Rose/AtlantaPhotos.com
People travel from near and far to visit this shopping mecca of the Southeast. The neighborhood’s more than 1,400 retail stores generate more than $1 billion in sales every year. In addition to shopping, the neighborhood offers some of the finest restaurants and homes in the Atlanta area. Multi-million-dollar estates, highrise condominium towers and luxury townhomes, such as City Park Townhomes, add to the neighborhood’s upscale appeal.

Cabbagetown
$281,419 | YP | NC | HA | W
When the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill closed in 1977, Cabbagetown became a virtual ghost town, but that period was short-lived. Today, this six-block Atlanta neighborhood is brimming with artists and other individuals who transformed it into a funky refuge for cultural trendsetters. A rare urban tornado in March severely damaged sections of Cabbagetown, but did nothing to destroy the district’s spirit and sense of camaraderie as residents banded together to rebuild.

Candler Park/Lake Claire

$466,896/$423,828 | F | YP | NC | HA | W
These neighborhoods attract a variety of residents, from poets to lawyers to computer programmers, with their eclectic mix of bungalows and cottages, as well as a quaint strip of shops and restaurants that includes one of Atlanta’s favorite brunch spots, the Flying Biscuit Café. Candler Park offers a nine-hole golf course, swimming pool, and basketball court and soccer field. Lake Claire is home to John Willis Homes’ Sutherland Place, a community of single-family homes, townhomes and lofts that blends perfectly into the existing neighborhood.

Castleberry Hill
$ not available | YP | NC | HA | W
Home to a thriving arts scene, trendy restaurants and urban loft residences, Castleberry Hill is also designated as a Landmark District, which allows the community to protect its historical integrity. Residents of the neighborhood enjoy the community events such as the annual Loft Tour and ArtStroll. The upcoming Castleberry Point Lofts, which will feature more than 100 residential units and about 35,000 square feet of retail space, is the neighborhood’s first mixed-used new construction.

Chamblee
$270,092 | F | YP | NC
Chamblee, “a city on the right track,” will proudly host its centennial celebration in 2008. This DeKalb County suburb attracts diverse residents from all over the world, thanks to its International Village, a 394-acre neighborhood that is home to people representing more than 30 countries. With three historic cemeteries and Antique Row, the largest antiques destination in the Southeast, Chamblee honors its past, but also looks toward its future with the development of new townhomes and loft apartments.

 Georgia Int’l Convention Center
 Photo:Atlanta CVB/AtlantaPhotos.com
College Park
$153,921 | F | YP | NC | HA
With 867 structures on the National Register of Historic Places, College Park has the fourth-largest urban historic district in Georgia. It is also home to the largest private school in the United States: Woodward Academy. Called “Georgia’s Global City,” College Park is conveniently located near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, I-285 and I-85, the CSX Railroad and MARTA. Its Georgia International Convention Center is the second-largest exhibit and meeting space in the state.

Covington
$168,401 | F | EN | HA | W
One of Newton County’s finest, Covington is a small city that shows big promise. A number of films and televisions series, such as The Dukes of Hazzard and In the Heat of the Night, were filmed in this picturesque town of manor homes, green space and Oxford College, the original campus of Emory University. Recreational activities abound in Covington, including hiking, concerts on the downtown Square and tours of Fox Vineyards, an award-winning winery.

Cumming
$319,459 | F | EN | NC | HA
With its prime location near Lake Lanier, Cumming attracts numerous residents and visitors. The “Gateway to Leisure Living,” the city offers the best of small-town living, but has also seen many new commercial and residential developments. Events for all ages are held every year at the Cumming Fairgrounds, including antique car shows and a Fourth of July celebration.

Decatur
$206,423 | F | YP | EN | NC | HA | W
Decatur, the second-oldest city in Metro Atlanta, is home to the first school in Georgia to be fully accredited: Agnes Scott College. The city offers a great mix of history and modernity. Residents can enjoy the more than 200 shops, restaurants, galleries and performance venues located along tree-lined streets. Events take place throughout the year at the city’s historic downtown square. Brownstones at Decatur, located less than a mile from the square, offers distinctive brownstone-style residences featuring up to 2,930 square feet.

 Centennial Olympic Park
 Photo: © 2000, Kevin C. Rose/AtlantaPhotos.com
Downtown
$ not available | YP | NC | HA | W
With more than 100 restaurants, several shopping venues and more than 20 attractions within a four-square-mile area, Downtown offers its residents an exciting lifestyle. There are always new developments being added to the area, including W Atlanta Downtown, a hotel-condo hybrid featuring 237 hotel suites and 76 luxury residences. Downtown residents are within walking distance of Centennial Olympic Park, Philips Arena, the State Capitol, Georgia Aquarium, the NEW World of Coca-Cola and much more.

Duluth

$386,140 | F | EN | NC
Duluth was named a Tree City in 1989 for its dedication to preserving green space. Its historic downtown features boutiques, cafes, and even an old-fashioned soda shop. The town hosts numerous events throughout the year, including its Flicks on the Bricks family film festival and its Summer Stage Concert Series. Duluth offers residential developments that are perfect for growing families, such as Bowen Family Homes’ Ashmore, as well as a variety of public and private school options.

Dunwoody

$469,001 | F | YP | NC
A variety of education options are available in Dunwoody, and the winding streets and wooded lots provide a beautiful setting in which to raise a family. The very popular Perimeter Mall area is attracting young singles as well, and new developments such as Gramercy Townhomes, featuring up to 3 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths, are great for almost any home buyer, including singles, young couples and families.

East Lake/Oakhurst
$239,782/$327,720 | F | YP | HA | W
Historic bungalows from the 1900s to the 1950s line the shaded streets in East Lake and Oakhurst, and many have been beautifully restored. This revitalization has been driven, in part, by the East Lake Golf Club. The clubhouse will soon be getting a 20,000-square-foot addition that will include a ballroom to accommodate up to 200 people. In September, the club will host The TOUR Championship, a tournament open only to the top 30 money winners on the PGA Tour.

East Point
$134,568 | F | YP | NC | HA
The city of East Point is less than 14 square miles and combines the charm of a small town with conveniences of a large city. Residents enjoy the city’s prime location near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, MARTA and Downtown Atlanta. East Point is one of 100 Georgia cities to be designated a Main Street city—Main Street is a downtown revitalization program that combines economic development principles with historic preservation.

Fairburn
$192,829 | F | EN | NC | HA
As host of the Georgia Renaissance Festival every year, Fairburn offers a rich cultural heritage, along with its small-town atmosphere and rich history. Also, Phase 1 of the $10-million Fairburn Educational Campus is expected to be complete in the fall, just in time for principal tenant Georgia Military College to begin classes. A residential development of note is the master-planned arts-inspired community Le Jardin, which will feature 930 homes, sculpture gardens and the first-ever replica of Monet’s Water Garden.

 Atlanta Cyclorama
 Photo: 1995, Kevin C. Rose/AtlantaPhotos.com
Grant Park
$258,139 | YP | HA | W
Grant Park is characterized by Victorian-era mansions, small cottages and early-20th-century bungalows. Brick-paved sidewalks line the streets. It is Atlanta’s largest historic neighborhood, built around Atlanta’s oldest city park. Residents enjoy local dive Ria’s Bluebird, which was featured on Food Network’s The Hungry Detective in May, and popular pub and fish house Six Feet Under, as well as their very own Zoo Atlanta, Oakland Cemetery, and Cyclorama, a 360-degree detailed panorama painting of the Battle of Atlanta in 1864.

Hapeville
$123,075 | F | YP | HA | W
Home to Delta Air Lines’ corporate headquarters, this historic town is welcoming many new developments, as well as redevelopments. The Arlington, the city’s first high-end mixed-use $5-million development, will feature retail/restaurants and distinctive condominium lofts. Many of the historic homes in the city’s Virginia Park neighborhood have been beautifully restored. The city will celebrate 117 years with its 2008 Happy Days Festival in September.

Johns Creek
$356,947 | F | NC
While many Metro Atlanta neighborhoods are celebrating 100 or more years, Johns Creek revels in the fact that it is only 1 1/2. In fact, the city’s new police force just hit the streets in April. Johns Creek has an upscale feel, with its elegant restaurants, shops and larger homes, such as those in RJM Development’s new community Enclave on Johns Creek. The city is experiencing phenomenal growth—a new high school is scheduled to open August 2009.

Jonesboro
$130,517 | F | EN | NC | HA
Believed to be the approximate location of Tara, the striking Southern plantation from Gone With the Wind, Jonesboro is proud to call itself the official home of Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. The county seat of Clayton County was established on land once belonging to the Creek Indians, and many city attractions honor their legacy. Jonesboro experiences steady growth every year and offers plenty of recreation for its residents, including a beach, two golf courses and, of course, the Road to Tara Museum.

Kennesaw
$252,963 | F | EN | NC | HA
Kennesaw is a city that continues to preserve its rich history while looking to the future. Arts, education and culture play a prevalent role in a community that offers a variety of homes and subdivisions for the city’s growing families. Kennesaw State University attracts nearly 20,000 students to its campus—residents of Kennesaw enjoy the public events offered by the university’s College of the Arts. For a bit of history, residents can visit the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History.

Kirkwood
$266,520 F | YP | HA
Kirkwood boasts homes inspired by such styles as Arts and Crafts, Victorian folk, Queen Anne and Craftsman. And the values of these homes are increasing more and more as revitalization continues. The neighborhood offers a variety of education options. Children have the option of attending the Drew Charter School, Atlanta’s first public charter school, which focuses on reading and math. Kirkwood is also near exceptional private schools.

 Lawrenceville
 Photo: Alec Young
Lawrenceville
$199,446 | F | EN | NC | HA | W
Incorporated in 1821, Lawrenceville is the second-oldest city in Metro Atlanta. The revitalized historic downtown area offers a true sense of community, with its brick-paved sidewalks, benches and black street lamps, as well as unique shops, restaurants and coffeehouses. Once completed, Cornerstone on the Square, a development by the Morsberger Group, will offer the first opportunity for residential living on the city’s downtown square.

Lenox Park/Morningside
$223,781/$552,276 | F | YP | NC | HA | W
It’s hard to believe that the beautiful, quiet neighborhoods of Morningside and Lenox Park are located within the city of Atlanta. The route for a walking tour, created during the 1996 Olympics, can be found on the neighborhood Web site and gives potential new residents an unparalleled taste of the area. Only a few minutes from both swanky Buckhead and vibrant Midtown, the neighborhoods are at the center of an endless array of shopping, dining and entertainment options.

Little Five Points
$ not available | YP | HA | W
A visit to Little Five Points is all one needs to discover that bohemia is not dead. This self-proclaimed “coolest spot on the map between Greenwich Village and the French Quarter” is an entertainment gold mine, with venues and performers such as the Variety Playhouse, Masquerade nightclub and Dad’s Garage improv company. Restaurants and eclectic shops boasting prices that even starving artists can afford round out one of Atlanta’s most colorful and unique neighborhoods.

Mableton
$260,962 | F | EN | NC
Situated between the Cobb County cities of Smyrna and Vinings, unincorporated Mableton is one of Metro Atlanta’s best-kept secrets. It is small and charming, with plenty of beautiful homes along the Chattahoochee and even more scheduled to be built in the next few years. With all the attractions of the Cobb Galleria Centre nearby, including high-end shopping and dining, Mableton’s popularity is sure to continue to grow.

Marietta
$310,427 | F | YP | NC | HA
Beautiful parks, charming streets, 19th-century Victorian homes and historic sites make Marietta a desirable place to call home. Residents enjoy the vibrant downtown square, with its many restaurants, antique shops and happenings. In addition, the city is seeing many new developments, as well as redevelopments, so a wide variety of single-family homes, condos, townhomes and flats are available.

McDonough
$213,969 | F | EN | NC | HA
Designated a “City of Character” and a “City of Ethics” by the Georgia Municipal Association, McDonough is one of the largest cities in Henry County. The city features beautiful turn-of-the-century homes and a downtown square that hosts events such as Music on the Square and haunted ghost tours. The city welcomes The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall, a 3/5 replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., on June 11—the wall will be available for viewing June 12-15.

Midtown
$647,278 | YP | EN | NC | HA | W
With dozens of entertainment options and some of Atlanta’s finest restaurants, there is no denying that Midtown is a cultural mecca. Its upscale city apartments, both new and old, offer unbeatable locations for businesspeople and artists alike, and the history surrounding its many attractions, including Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Botanical Garden, lures visitors by the thousands. Midtown’s current project is the 1-million-square-foot Midtown Mile, a high-class shopping district designed to rival the likes of Rodeo Drive and Madison Avenue.

Newnan
$207,706 | F | EN | NC | HA
The quintessential Southern city, Newnan has the charm of a small town with all the benefits of an urban area—the city of Atlanta is only 40 miles away. Because of its six National-Register historic districts and the citizens’ Keep Newnan Beautiful campaign, the county seat of Coweta County draws more and more visitors and residents every year. A recent construction boom is helping to accommodate all of the people who choose to call Newnan home.

Norcross
$222,148 | F | NC | HA
“Respecting the past, embracing the future” is the motto of Norcross, and it couldn’t be more fitting. This former summer resort town for Atlanta’s elite now blends its surviving Victorian-era buildings with modern corporations, giving off a best-of-both-worlds appeal. Pedestrian-friendly living (the entire city is connected by a network of sidewalks), award-winning Gwinnett County schools and attractions such as the Norcross Baseball Hall of Fame make this an ideal community for families.


15 Additional Great Neighborhoods in Atlanta


Old Fourth Ward/Inman Park
$317,455/$517,707 | YP | HA | W
These century-old Atlanta neighborhoods bring the city’s early days back to life. Old Fourth Ward is a construction hot spot, full of new shops and housing such as Alexan 360, a ritzy mid-rise apartment building expected to be completed in March 2010. But historic structures, such as Ebenezer Baptist Church, are constant reminders of the past. As Atlanta’s first trolley suburb, Inman Park also has a rich history, and its caring citizens work hard to preserve its beautiful Victorian-era homes.

Peachtree City Lake

Peachtree City
$300,684 | F | EN | NC | W
Golf carts are the primary mode of transportation in this planned community, and a 90-mile network of multi-use paths makes it easy and ideal to take the carts everywhere. “The Fred”—a 2,000-seat amphitheatre—Lake Peachtree and Flat Creek Golf Course are just a few of the attractions that help this Fayette County city grow in popularity every year and thus live up to its slogan: “Plan to Stay.”

Powder Springs
$206,932 | F | EN | NC | HA
With 243 acres set aside for recreation and a history dating back to Georgia’s gold rush, Powder Springs is one of Cobb County’s jewels. The 59-mile Silver Comet Trail runs through the city, and the Seven Springs Museum in Powder Springs Park houses artifacts that reflect the area’s “deep roots.” Powder Springs’ residents enjoy life in a safe and active community known for its abundance of green space and love for McEachern High School football.

Riverdale
$120,380| YP | NC | HA
One hundred years after its founding, the Clayton County city of Riverdale has truly established itself as a community with lots to do. Located five miles south of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, this town is kicking off its centennial celebration by putting itself on the map and therefore becoming more attractive to Atlanta-area newcomers. Despite the popular belief that it is a suburb, Riverdale is actually a small city with its own municipal government.

Roswell
$382,666 | F | YP | EN | NC | HA
The city of Roswell has it all—from fine restaurants to great theater to some of Georgia’s best schools. Built on what the Cherokee Indians called “Enchanted Land,” this former mill town has retained its quaint Old South historic district and three notable homes—Barrington Hall, Bulloch Hall and Smith Plantation—which are now open for tours. But Roswell is also a modern and welcoming Fulton County suburb, with world-class shopping, several parks and trails along the Chattahoochee River and new homes for families of any size.

Sandy Springs
$645,321 | F | YP | NC
In the past three years, Sandy Springs has gone from a neighborhood of Atlanta to a booming independent Fulton County city that is home to a number of Fortune 500 companies and thousands of happy families. Easily recognizable by its skyline, which includes the “King” and “Queen” towers of the Concourse at Landmark Center, Sandy Springs offers countless high-end shopping and dining options. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, which has attracted big-name performers since 1973, makes Sandy Springs an entertainment hub as well.

Smyrna
$331,194 | F | YP | NC
Smyrna, the small town at the center of it all, is only minutes from Atlanta, Cobb Galleria Centre and Six Flags Over Georgia, but offers plenty of its own attractions, too. The “Jonquil City” is perfect for families, with its beautiful parks, great Cobb County schools and charming old-fashioned downtown, the Village Green. Several new mixed-use communities, such as the homes and shops of West Village, add to Smyrna’s appeal.

Stockbridge
$168,986 | F | NC
Henry County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation, and when it is home to cities like Stockbridge, it’s easy to see why. This former railway town is a golfer’s dream come true, thanks to the Eagle’s Landing Country Club and its 18-hole course, host of the annual LPGA Chick-fil-A Charity Championship. The brand-new City Hall and Town Center is scheduled for completion in December 2008 and will give Stockbridge residents yet another reason to be proud of where they live.

Stone Mountain
$149,541 | F | NC | HA
Located at the base of its namesake, Stone Mountain is the second-oldest city in DeKalb County and calls to mind the small Southern towns of eras past. Historic Stone Mountain Village, the downtown business district, features revitalized shops and restaurants along its Main Street and hosts a variety of family-oriented activities throughout the year. The four city parks, plus nearby Stone Mountain Park, make Stone Mountain one of the cleanest and “greenest” cities in Metro Atlanta.

Sweet Auburn
$ not available | YP | NC | HA
In addition to being the home of Martin Luther King Jr., Sweet Auburn has been frequented by almost every well-known Civil Rights leader and houses numerous African-American landmarks. Festivals and shows keep Sweet Auburn residents entertained year-round, and several exhibits celebrate the legacy of Dr. King and his fellow peaceful protesters. A recent surge of affordable housing makes this monumental community all the more appealing.

Tucker
$234,571 | F | NC | HA
Family-friendly Tucker in unincorporated DeKalb County offers a pleasant mix of new housing developments and decades-old businesses. A wide variety of clubs, sports leagues and houses of worship make life in this city enjoyable for residents of all ages and interests. Every spring, Tucker Celebration Day brings the town’s families together for a parade, a cookout and other general festivities that are reminiscent of a small-town gathering, but aren’t very far from the big city.

Vinings
Vinings
$622,000 | F | YP | EN | NC | HA
With its prime location and affordable new housing, Vinings is a hot neighborhood for people from all walks of life. A Cobb County city with an Atlanta address, Vinings is both sophisticated and comfortable, featuring sleek condominium towers, beautiful single-family homes and plenty of places to eat and shop. Cumberland Mall and the new state-of-the-art Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre are just a few minutes away, and the views of the Atlanta skyline are breathtaking.

Virginia-Highland 
$638,226 | YP | HA | W
The Greenwich Village of Atlanta, Virginia-Highland has long appealed to the city’s trendiest residents, which is evidenced by its ever-growing number of nightclubs, galleries and boutiques. Homes range from renovated turn-of-the-century houses to exclusive gated communities, all within walking distance from popular shops and restaurants. Virginia-Highland has a reputation for being a musicians’ haven, and the melodies of local bands permeate all corners of the neighborhood, especially during its annual Summerfest, one of the Southeast’s best art festivals.

West End
$101,565 | YP | NC | HA
West End is the perfect title for such a dramatic place—it was named after London’s renowned theater district. Home to Atlanta University Center, which includes Morehouse and Spelman colleges, this historic neighborhood is famous for its 19th-century architecture and housing prices that are even within the budgets of recent graduates. Rather than raze old buildings, West Enders choose to preserve and use them for new shops, thus ensuring that their corner of Atlanta retains the charm it has borne since its earliest days.

Woodstock
$229,682 | F | NC
Woodstock, the fastest-growing city in Cherokee County, is truly “where modern amenities meet old Southern charm,” as locals say. Historic Olde Towne pays a continual tribute to Woodstock’s pioneers through vintage shops, constant restoration and good old-fashioned Southern hospitality. From summertime demolition derbies at the Dixie Speedway to the lighting of the City Park Christmas Tree in December, Woodstock residents are always finding ways to stay happy; of course, all of those beautiful new homes and excellent schools don’t hurt, either.

Vinings




 




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