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Atlanta's Growth Suggests Encouraging Shift from Suburbia

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With residential permit numbers through the roof, the City of Atlanta is dominating the development game

A few weeks ago, Atlanta's planning man Tim Keane lamented the lack of growth in the city proper as compared to the metro's booming suburbs. But, fortunes could be changing.

According to new numbers released by the Atlanta Regional Commission, residential growth in the City of Atlanta (a relative sliver of land) in January and February outpaced growth in Gwinnett, Forsyth, and Cobb counties combined. In fact, in the year's first two months alone, the city's more than 2,000 issued residential construction permits surpassed all the permits issued last year in Cobb County.

With the strong start to 2016, the city is on track to far outpace the 6,028 residential permits issued last year. The Atlanta Business Chronicle broke down the data, finding that the numbers may indicate the trend of suburban sprawl could be waning, to a degree, in favor of intown living.

It should really come as no surprise that the city is dominating development right now. After all, residential multifamily projects are springing up across Atlanta in the form of countless "luxury apartments" from Buckhead to Inman Park to College Park. Meanwhile, in Midtown, cranes dominate the skyline as high-rise residences sprout across the neighborhood.

The real test will be in the coming year, as lenders will likely begin to tighten their purse strings (well, those who haven't already, that is) for large-scale rental developments. Will the city be able to maintain growth in the form of condos, perhaps? Or are there enough projects in the pipeline to continue to fuel intown's impressive growth numbers?