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Zoo Atlanta June/July 2009

Home Sweet Home
30 Great Neighborhoods To Call Your Own

James Creek
Atlanta’s numerous neighborhoods offer something for everyone’s tastes, with both older homes filled with character to newer developments like Ryland Home’s Marseille at James Creek.

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.

These categories help to distinguish each neighborhood and indicate their dominant characteristics—please note that exceptions do exist and some neighborhoods, while not classified as such, certainly offer various elements of each.
Families/Kid-Friendly (F)
Young Professionals (YP)
Empty Nesters (EN)
New Construction/Newer Homes (NC)
Classic Architecture/Historic Appeal (HA)
Walking Distance to Shopping/Dining (W)
$ = 2008 Average Home Closing Price*

*Information provided by SmartNumbers (770-424-5128, All numbers refer to single-family detached homes.

$428,701 / F, YP, NC
Celebrating more than 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. The city is also home to the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, a 12,000-seat outdoor concert venue.

Ansley Park/Druid Hills
$ not available / $633,151 / 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.

  Atlantic Station
  Outdoor dining along the streets of Atlantic Station provide a metropolitan setting for its young urbanite population.
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. Attractions like 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, make this a distinctive neighborhood for intown living.

$666,891 / 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 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

$1,447,965 / YP, EN, NC, HA, W
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 including Multi-million-dollar estates, high-rise condominium towers and luxury townhomes.

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 community events such as the annual Loft Tour and ArtStroll. Mixed-use construction is also booming in the area with communities such as Castleberry Point Lofts, which features more than 100 residential units and about 35,000 square feet of retail space.

$250,700 / F, YP, NC
Chamblee, “a city on the right track,” proudly hosted its centennial celebration last year. 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.

College Park
$122,461 / F, YP, HA, NC
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.

$307,973 / 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.

$207,840 / F, YP, EN, HA, NC, W
Decatur 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.
John Willis  
New home communities like Creekstone Estates by John Willis are being developed in many Atlanta neighborhoods.  
$ 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 that opened its doors in late January. 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.

$364,863 / 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.

$453,550 / 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 developments such as Gramercy Townhomes, featuring up to three bedrooms and three and a half baths, are great for almost any home buyer, including singles, young couples and families.

$160,002 / F, EN, NC, HA
Fairburn offers a rich cultural heritage, along with its small-town atmosphere and rich history. Phase one of the $10-million Fairburn Educational Campus was completed last year, and future phases will add an additional two 18,200-square-foot classroom buildings to the complex. A residential development of note is the master-planned, arts-inspired community Le Jardin, which features 930 homes, sculpture gardens and the first-ever replica of Monet’s Water Garden.

Grant Park
$224,226 / 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 recently on Food Network’s The Hungry Detective, and popular pub and fishhouse Six Feet Under, as well as their very own Zoo Atlanta, Oakland Cemetery, and Atlanta Cyclorama.

Johns Creek
$434,554 / F, NC
While many Metro Atlanta neighborhoods are celebrating 100 or more years, Johns Creek revels in its youth. The two-year-old city has an upscale feel, with its elegant restaurants, shops and larger homes, such as those in RJM Development’s community Enclave on Johns Creek. The city is experiencing phenomenal growth—a new high school is scheduled to open in August and construction just began on the Johns Creek Greenway, a network of trails that will connect all city parks, greenways and trails.

$222,580 / F, EN, HA, NC
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.

$179,533 / F, EN, W, HA, NC
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-pave sidewalks, benches and black street lamps, as well as unique shops, restaurants and coffeehouses. The Morsberger Group’s Cornerstone on the Square, which celebrated its grand opening in March, offers the first opportunity for resdential living on the city’s downtown square.

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. Home to restaurants and eclectic shops boasting prices that even starving artists can afford.

$288,962 / F, YP, HA, NC
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 singlefamily homes, condos, townhomes and flats are available.

$185,832 / F, HA, EN, NC
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 is home to some exceptional boutiques, unique shops and family-friendly restaurants. Main Street hosts annual events such as Music on the Square, the summer concert series, classic car shows and chili cook-offs.

$556,005 / YP, EN, HA, NC, W
With dozens of entertainment options andsome 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.

$198,888 / 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.

  Peachtree City
  Townhome living goes upscale in a variety of new developments, such as John Wieland’s Centennial neighborhood in Peachtree City..
Peachtree City
$311,831 / F, EN, W, NC
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.”

$371,376 / F, YP, EN, HA, NC
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
$598,767 / F, YP, N
In the past few 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.

$302,793 / 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 mixed-use communities, such as the homes and shops of West Village, and recent green space initiatives add to Smyrna’s family-friendly appeal. (For more information about Smyrna, turn to page 14.)

$542,417; 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 state-of-the-art Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre are just a few minutes away, and the views of the Atlanta skyline are breathtaking.

$661,403 / 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.

$213,281 / 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..

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