It’s being called the Olympics of corporate relocations, and those in the know think Atlanta has a good shot at winning.

E-commerce behemoth Amazon is courting offers from cities across North America before picking a site for its second headquarters. Dubbed HQ2, the project could eventually house up to 50,000 jobs—with average salaries today of $100,000—making it an equal to Amazon’s $4-billion urban campus in Seattle, per an announcement earlier this month.

Observers far and wide are saying the ATL could suit Amazon’s needs as well as any city, all things considered. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and others report the State of Georgia could dangle a $1-billion carrot of incentives before Jeff Bezos’ nose, despite warnings from Seattle observers that actually landing HQ2 would detonate a “prosperity bomb” of rising rents and other ill effects.

Then again, hooking the whopper that is Amazon could reshape intown Atlanta.

CNN Money likes Atlanta’s chances, shortlisting the city among eight good fits for Amazon and noting: “Atlanta has the advantage of being a major air travel hub that’s within a two-hour flight from 80 percent of the U.S. population.”

An analysis by Brookings is also optimistic—although realistic. “Atlanta is intriguing: its sprawling physical development may be disqualifying,” writes Brookings’ Joseph Parilla, “but the city provides a combination of a deep white-collar labor pool, supply chain technology capabilities, Georgia Tech, and a relatively low cost of living.”

Bloomberg slotted the Big Peach among this shortlist of six: Toronto, Boston, Washington, Atlanta, Dallas, and Denver.

And more recently, Bisnow picked the brain of John Boyd, principal of The Boyd Company—an international leader in corporate site selection, based in New Jersey—who said Atlanta will likely be “among Amazon’s top five considerations.”

Sure, Atlanta is burdened with the sticking point that is traffic congestion, but Boyd pointed out a positive not many others have mentioned yet. Writes Bisnow:

“A big lure for corporations to Atlanta and Georgia are both government’s solid credit ratings and its balance of liabilities with pension programs. Boyd said companies are looking more critically at factors like a city’s credit rating and property taxes when evaluating potential headquarter or major corporate presence locations. Georgia has a AAA credit rating among the three big ratings agencies and Atlanta’s credit rating had been upgraded last year to one of the highest.”

Cities have until Oct. 19 to submit proposals to Amazon, which will reportedly pick the winner next year.

    • Pamela Miller

For the AJC

10:46 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017 Metro Atlanta / State news

The DeKalb County Sanitation Division has announced changes to the residential curbside single-stream recycling program. Now in effect, only two recycling container options will be offered. A new standard 35-gallon recycling roll cart will replace bins and bags, and the existing 65-gallon recycling roll cart upgrade option will continue. The 18-gallon recycling bin and 40-gallon recycling bag options will no longer be available.

New Recycling Subscriber

• Complimentary 35-gallon roll cart, or

• 65-gallon roll cart upgrade for a one-time $15 prepaid fee

Existing Recycling Subscriber

• Complimentary 35-gallon roll cart, or

• 65-gallon roll cart upgrade for a one-time $15 prepaid fee

• Mandatory trade in of 18-gallon bin by April 30, 2018

• Use of 40-gallon recycling bags permitted until inventory is fully depleted

Requests for roll carts can be submitted by mail, online at, in person at the Sanitation Division’s administrative office, or by emailing

A recycling subscription form must be completed for all roll cart requests, and is available online. Recycling bin trade-ins must be processed at the Sanitation Division’s administrative office, 3720 Leroy Scott Drive, Decatur, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Don’t start looking until you read this.


Everyone wants to get the best value for their money, no matter what they’re buying. This is especially true when it comes to the single biggest financial decision in most people’s lives: buying a home.

If you’re a first-time home buyer, you’ve probably already learned that there’s so much more to figuring out where to buy than just home prices themselves. There’s convenience, safety, and other factors that all add up to paint a true picture of how desirable a particular neighborhood is.

After looking at factors including affordability, amenities, and safety, Movoto Real Estate’s tireless number-crunchers have determined that the following 10 neighborhoods are the best home-buying values in Atlanta right now:

1. Midtown
2. Buckhead
3. Cabbage Town
4. Ormewood Park-East Atlanta
5. Sandtown
6. Poncey-Highland
7. Grant Park
8. Morningside-Lenox Park
9. Oakland City (tie)
9. Inman Park (tie)

We’ll explain the methodology for this ranking at the end of the article, if you’re curious. For more on what makes each of these neighborhoods such a great pick, read on.

1. Midtown
Best Neighborhoods In Atlanta For Home Buyers

You might expect Midtown Atlanta to be one of the most exciting parts of this city in terms of sheer things to do, and you’d be right. It ranks third overall for the number of amenities within one mile—no surprise to anyone who’s seen the myriad shopping and entertainment options it has to offer, from Mary Mac’s Tea Room to the Vortex.

What you probably wouldn’t expect is that this neighborhood is actually surprisingly affordable (you pretty much have to be in the market for a condo, however) and safe.

In terms of the former, the ratio of median household income ($81,650 annually) to median home value ($359,188) is in the middle of the pack, while its low number of crimes compared to many other neighborhoods in Atlanta makes it one of the safest we looked at.

2. Buckhead
Best Neighborhoods In Atlanta For Home Buyers

Like Midtown, Buckhead’s a neighborhood that’s primarily going to appeal to those with a fondness for city living.

This bustling commercial district actually outdoes Midtown in terms of access to amenities—everything from shopping centers like Lenox Square to attractions like LEGOLAND Discovery Center and more are within a mile—but is was slightly less affordable overall (ranked 17th versus 13th for Midtown).

The median home value in Buckhead is among the highest in our ranking at $497,468.

3. Cabbagetown
Best Neighborhoods In Atlanta For Home Buyers

If you don’t make as much green as the folks looking to buy in our first two neighborhoods, Cabbagetown might be for you. It placed eighth overall in terms of affordability, with a median home value of $218,960.

While not nearly the hotspot for amenities as Midtown or Buckhead, this neighborhood still managed to rank 10th in this category, so there are plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options nearby (Little’s and the Carroll Street Cafe, to name just two).

Crime is a bigger factor here than in the above neighborhoods, ranking 11th overall.

4. Ormewood Park-East Atlanta
Best Neighborhoods In Atlanta For Home Buyers

The median home value in this part of Atlanta is actually a bit higher than in Cabbagetown at $222,960, but the neighborhood ended up being the third most affordable overall.

It may be very affordable, but that comes at a price: amenities. Ormewood Park ranked 20th out of 32 for the number of options within one mile, including favorites such as Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream and Gunshow (a great eatery, not what the name suggests). On the upside, it ranked 10th in terms of safety.

5. Sandtown
Best Neighborhoods In Atlanta For Home Buyers

The Sandtown area of Atlanta was the most affordable we found, with the second-lowest median home value at $126,814. The total crime rate in Sandtown is higher than in many of the other areas we looked at, but it’s still not considered an overly dangerous area. In fact, its quiet, suburban feel might be just what you’re looking for.

6. Poncey-Highland
Best Neighborhoods In Atlanta For Home Buyers

This historic neighborhood is home to—among other landmarks—Jimmy Carter’s presidential library. You don’t need to be a former world leader to live here, but this neighborhood is less affordable than any other in our top 10. The median home value is $319,767.

Poncey-Highland ranked much better than our previous neighborhood in terms of safety and amenities, however. It tied for first in safety and has the eighth most amenities within one mile, including lots of nightlife (the Clermont Lounge and Manuel’s Tavern are standouts).

7. Grant Park
Best Neighborhoods In Atlanta For Home Buyers

Taking its name from the expansive park it surrounds, this neighborhood is one of the oldest in Atlanta—in addition to being one of its most historic.

Grant Park is the 12th most affordable part of Atlanta we looked at, with a modest median home value of $204,931. Amenities aren’t as convenient or plentiful here as in Poncey-Highland, earning this neighborhood a 16th place berth in that category.

8. Morningside-Lenox Park
Best Neighborhoods In Atlanta For Home Buyers

Founded in the early 1930s, this neighborhood has kept up with the times by offering residents plenty of amenities, from Fat Matt’s Rib Shack to the ritzier Woodfire Grill. In fact, it ranked 14th overall in terms of things to do within one mile.

Morningside-Lenox Park is safer than Grant Park (tied for first versus 13th), but also slightly less affordable—19th overall. The median home value here is the second-highest in our top 10 at $491,562.

9. Oakland City
Best Neighborhoods In Atlanta For Home Buyers

Don’t let the name fool you—while it was at one point its own city, this neighborhood has since been absorbed by Atlanta proper.

Of all the neighborhoods in our top 10, Oakland City has the lowest median home value, $97,652, and is the fourth most affordable overall based on the median household income of residents.

The relative lack of amenities actually located in Oakland City brought it down a bit, placing 21st in terms of convenience with just 90 stores, restaurants, and other options within one mile of neighborhood center.

9. Inman Park
Best Neighborhoods In Atlanta For Home Buyers

Dating back to the late 1800s, Inman Park offers a mixture of affordable family homes and multi-million-dollar houses. Despite that last bit, this neighborhood was in the middle of the road in terms of affordability: 18th out of 32 overall with a median home value of $219,900.

The rest of its scores averaged out to place Inman Park in a tie with Oakland City. It fared better in terms of safety (15th versus 29th) and amenities within a mile (seventh versus 21st).

Atlanta Is So Hot Right Now
We hope this ranking has helped give you a clear picture of where you can get the most value for your money when looking for a new home in Atlanta. Of course, if you’d like even more, personalized help, we can do that, too. Just get in touch and we’ll connect you with a Movoto Certified Agent who can help you zero in on your perfect Southern home.

How We Created This Ranking
In order to produce the above list, we used median home value and median household income data from the 2010 U.S. Census to determine affordability (the ratio of home price to income), crime statistics from the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Report to determine safety (total crimes per 100,000 people in each neighborhood), and business listings within one mile of the neighborhood to produce a number of total amenities.

We looked at 33 neighborhoods in all, and gave each a score from one to 33 in these three categories: affordability, safety, and amenities.

We then weighted those rankings so that affordability comprised 50 percent of the overall score, affordability comprised 30 percent, and safety made up the remaining 20 percent.

Finally, we determined each neighborhood’s average ranking across those three categories and the lower that number, the better.

Find This Article Helpful? Here Are Some More You Might Like:

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Authored by Randy Nelson

Georgia is now the No. 1 filming location in the world, according to FilmL.A., and the industry has a giant impact on the state’s economy.

Gov. Nathan Deal announced film and television productions generated $9.5 billion in economic impact in fiscal 2017. This includes $2.7 billion in direct spending.

In the past year, 320 film and television productions shot in the state, including several Marvel movies, Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

“Georgia’s growth in the film industry — from $67.7 million in direct spending in FY 2007 to $2.7 billion in FY 2017 — is unprecedented, not only in production spend, but also in the amount of investment that has been made in infrastructure,” said Lee Thomas, deputy commissioner for the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office, in a statement. “The unwavering commitment to this industry by Gov. Deal and the Georgia legislature has ensured Georgia’s place as a top destination for film and television.”

Sound stage complexes like Pinewood Atlanta Studios, EUE/Screen Gems Studios, Atlanta Metro Studios, Tyler Perry Studios and Blackhall Studios make it possible for so many productions to film here at once. Several other complexes were proposed within the last year, including Three Ring Studios in Covington, CineDome Studios in Chattahoochee Hills and Cinema South Studios in Fayetteville, Ga.

“Georgia is the new leader in TV and film production on the East Coast,” said EUE/Screen Gems Studios Executive Vice President Kris Bagwell. “There are jobs in the production business in almost every occupation, from cook to security guard to driver to construction. This job creates tens of thousands of well paying Georgia jobs. And it’s here to stay thanks to the pro-jobs agenda of Gov. Deal.”

“Not only do we have incredible amounts of infrastructure, but we’re starting to have discussion about home grown production companies, which I think is a missing piece of the ecosystem,” said Ryan Millsap, executive chairman of the board at Blackhall Studios.


Quick Hits: If you’re planning to buy a home do it now, because prices are going up for the next few years. Investments in single-family rental properties have good potential, especially in Clayton County. Apartment developments have the best potential in Gwinnett County, where splitting homes into rental units is also attractive. Mortgages and construction loans have lower risk in Forsyth County, where demand will be strong. Best bets for investments in retail are Forsyth and Cherokee Counties; worst bets are Gwinnett and Clayton.

For decades Atlanta was a market of constant growth, pulling in families from all over the South as well as city-slickers from up North. The population grew close to 4 percent every year, with jobs to match – many of them in the high-paying manufacturing sector. Real estate investments could hardly go wrong, home builders could hardly keep up.

Today’s Atlanta is different, with slower growth, a service economy, and a pile of foreclosures from heavy sub-prime mortgage lending. Some parts of the area are now growing well while others just creep along. Investors have to choose the sub-market and the type of investment that’s right for them. Fortunately, the low level of construction in recent years will give landlords the upper hand for a while. And the jobs being created, most importantly in business services, healthcare, hotels and retail – are the kinds of jobs that encourage renting.

Home prices have followed the economy: a big bust, a spurt of speculation in foreclosed property, and now moderate increases that have upside potential. I expect a 20 percent rise in prices over the next three years, but it could be more as demand runs up against the limited supply. The biggest increases are likely in Forsyth and Cherokee Counties, the smallest in Clayton County.

Fulton, Clayton and DeKalb Counties have a high proportion of renters – close to half – which makes them the best candidates for investments in rental properties. The ratio of high rents to low home prices is especially favorable in Clayton. The strongest population growth has been in Forsyth, but it doesn’t have many renters. In Gwinnett County, higher home prices and higher rents encourage investments in apartment properties and favor cutting single-family homes into multiple rental units.

Mortgages are a good investment right now because home prices are still below the income level and will rise steadily, building equity cushions. Construction loans have lower risk because of the expanding demand, which will be especially strong in Cherokee, Forsyth and Henry Counties. I expect 7,000 new homes in Cherokee over the next three years, 6,000 in Forsyth. The larger counties will have more construction: 14,000 new homes each in Fulton, Gwinnett and Cobb, 10,000 in DeKalb – as well as 18,000 new apartments in Fulton and 10,000 each in Gwinnett, Cobb and DeKalb.

Because of the rapid population growth, investments in retail stores and restaurants are favorable in Forsyth and Cherokee Counties – both are under-served compared to the other counties. Clayton County is also underserved in retail but the income demographics are less favorable – half of local jobs are connected with the cyclical airport industry. The rapid growth of healthcare jobs in the big counties and in Cherokee County will require more office space as well.

Source: Forbes