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Report takes stock of Memorial Drive’s ongoing metamorphosis

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Some $1.5 billion of development is still bound for the bustling corridor

An aerial view of Memorial Drive and the construction sites that surround it.
Memorial Drive near the Beltline’s Eastside Trail, a leading investment driver in Atlanta.
Cushman & Wakefield

Just north of Interstate 20 and east of downtown, “a new boomtown” has found a home on Atlanta’s Memorial Drive.

That’s according to a new report by real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, which takes stock of how much the once-desolation, high-traffic thoroughfare has evolved in the past few years—and how far it still has to go.

“It wasn’t until 2015 that the Memorial Drive Corridor began to really take off,” the report states, nodding to the more than 1.3 million square feet of new projects and redevelopments that have taken root.

A photo of how Construction bustles near Memorial Drive’s intersection with the forthcoming Eastside Trail extension.
Memorial Drive has changed a lot since this picture was taken last year.
Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta

That progress has come in the form of offices, apartments, condos, and retail space.

And the lion’s share of that 1.3 million square feet—more than 1 million square feet, in fact—has been added to the corridor’s inventory since just last year.

Much of that growth, per the report, can be attributed to the success of projects like Ponce City Market and other Beltline-adjacent developments in Old Fourth Ward and beyond.

Now that the Beltline’s Eastside Trail has been fully extended to Memorial Drive, and the Southside Trail has opened as an interim hiking path linking to the Westside Trail, the area is primed for even more development.

Cushman & Wakefield

Since 2015, nearly 1,200 multifamily units and more than 180,000 square feet of retail space has been delivered along the Memorial Drive Corridor.

And there’s $1.5 billion worth of development still in the pipeline right now.

Expect more than 900,000 square feet of multifamily construction and some 90,000 square feet of retail development to debut between now and the end of 2020.

Those deliveries are scheduled to come with projects such as Madison Yards, Atlanta Dairies, and Modera Reynoldstown.

The Atlanta Dairies project also expects to include a more than 40,000 square foot office building fronting Memorial Drive, just west of the Beltline.

Of course, with all this activity comes an increased cost of living: Multifamily rents in the area have spiked about 8 percent since 2015.