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What $1,500 rents in Atlanta and other Amazon HQ2 finalist cities

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For the money, ATL renters aren’t lacking for space, relatively speaking

A photo of Midtown reflected in Lake Clara Meer, Piedmont Park.
Midtown reflected in Lake Clara Meer, Piedmont Park.
Curbed Atlanta

When it comes to the 20 places left standing in Amazon’s great corporate rodeo, it stands to reason that cities’ average rental rates might play a factor in the lives of a projected 50,000 employees.

And based on that metric, Atlanta appears to be in pretty good standing—if size does matter, that is.

Online rental marketplace Apartment List crunched the numbers on thousands of rentals across the country for a study titled, “Where do renters get the most for their money?” We then extrapolated those numbers to include Atlanta and its 19 rivals vying to land Amazon’s second headquarters.

The company’s HQ2 finalist list is heavy on eastern cities, both mid-sized and large. When it comes to square-footage bang for your buck, Atlanta holds its own with much smaller cities, per Apartment List’s findings.

In Atlanta proper, the average rental price per foot is $1.47 (in the overall metro, it’s 93 cents per square foot), meaning that $1,500 monthly bags 1,020 square feet of breathing room.

In New York City, another finalist, that rent gets a paltry 350 square feet. But apples to oranges.

Other HQ2 rivals include the remaining top five most expensive cities for renters in the country (alongside San Francisco)—Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C, where $1,500 rents less than 600 square feet, or roughly half of Atlanta’s space.

Note: Data for Toronto and the two finalist counties around Washington, D.C. weren’t available. Disregard color variations.
Apartment List

The estimates were based on average prices per square foot of available units listed on Apartment List in each city over the past six months, researchers noted.

HQ2 finalist Indianapolis clocked in at the most affordable option for renters ($1,500 snags nearly 1,800 square feet there), although those figures can be misleading.

Encompassing 368 square miles, the City of Indianapolis’s boundaries are nearly three times the size of Atlanta’s, with borderline rural areas in the mix.