Midtown Atlanta

This area is a prime, A-number-one area to live in Atlanta as far as I’m concerned. The following reasons should help explain why. First, it is the most walkable area in the city. Walkability scores in condo markets like New York and San Francisco have more effect on property values than schools or any other factors (Google this because it’s one of the biggest deals when considering buying a condo). In my opinion, Atlanta is still in the first quarter in recognizing this truth in valuing condos and the condo market as a whole. The second quarter will come when we hit $5.00 per gallon in gas sometime in the next two years and droves will flock to the city to be closer to their jobs. I am still thinking through 3rd and 4th quarter of the condo market, thinking out to 2020 and 2025. I’ll keep you posted on this!

Midtown itself is the most like living in Manhattan. Some have called it “The Manhattan of the South”. Another reason people like it is that many of the dining and bar options are not chains. There are many great places with LOTS of character. Core areas to live in are on Peachtree between 5th and 14th Streets, and West Peachtree between 5th and 10th. 14th Street right by the park has the W Hotel there and also has some of the more traditional classic buildings, like Mayfair Tower. 14th Street is a very safe area and for that reason remains quite popular. The Fabulous Fox Theatre, High Museum of Art, and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra are all located in Midtown, making this Atlanta’s main area for the arts.

Piedmont Park is also located in the heart of Midtown. It is a very large park that was designed by the same people who constructed the plan for Central Park in New York. It was recently expanded by 30 more acres. If you run or enjoy festivals, this is one of the best places in Atlanta to live. Last September, I went to Music Midtown, a great music festival that featured Cold Play and the Black Keys, amongst others. It is the oldest and one of the largest, if not the largest, park in Atlanta. Midtown rentals and prices have held up better than all other condo areas in Atlanta. Ten years ago from, what I understand, this area was mainly parking lots, bath houses, and wild night clubs. Today, highrises dot the skyline and plenty of dining and drinking options exist. STK Steak opens December 16th on 12th Street across from 1010.

Through the commitment of its residents, developers, and city leaders, this area has flourished and more than 30,000 people now live in this area, which is a drastic increase from a mere ten years ago. If you Google the demographics of the 30309 and the 30308 zip codes, you will see that there are a disproportionate number of doctors and people with graduate degrees in this area. Within Midtown, you have the law offices of some of the most prominent large firms. There are currently 1800 highly-paid attorneys working in Midtown and another Buckhead law firm just signed a lease to move to Midtown. In addition to this highly-educated and well-paid demographic, Deloitte and Pricewaterhouse, as well as Boston Consulting Group, all call Midtown their home. All of these professional service firms are growing. Compound this demand with the constant flow of Emory residents and Georgia Tech/Emory graduate students and you have awesome market dynamics.

Midtown is bordered by the freeway on two sides and Piedmont Park to the East. Space is limited! Unlike Buckhead, where it seems like there is a constant supply of space to tear down old buildings and build condos, Midtown is somewhat bound. This further increases the likelihood of future scarcity and stronger resales. In fact, many smart parents who have children going to Georgia Tech have purchased units for their children, realizing that they can put their kids in a secure, doorman-building for four years at a cheaper expense than on campus housing. Many are looking to turn their units into cash flow positive income properties upon their child’s graduation.

Today, when people move to Atlanta, they begin to realize that Midtown is a far superior, much more walkable, diverse, and fun area. Upon making this realization and being in the highrise market, the first buildings they seem to always ask for are Viewpoint and 1010. Imagine five years from now. People will still be requesting these buildings. They are the best in breed in terms of highrises. The other buildings I will address are also very nice. However, people do not typically call me up to request Plaza Midtown or Metropolis. They call me to ask about Viewpoint or 1010. When seeking a unit to purchase, you will want an investment that buyers or renters in the future will be requesting. These two buildings are those investments.

People who have bought in 1010 and Viewpoint have often had to go through a more rigorous loan processes over the past few years. Hence, there were likely no zero-down buyers, and people who purchased in these two buildings actually had good credit scores. Foreclosures have been very rare at Viewpoint (there were a few in 2010 at the lows of the market, and they sold within days with multiple offers) and no short sales or foreclosures have gone through at 1010. The fact that the average owner is well qualified helps condo prices in these buildings and protects your investment. Foreclosures have been the biggest issue for buildings like Plaza Midtown. That is just another reason to purchase in the new buildings. Even though foreclosure issues did take their toll on many buildings in Midtown, I can honestly say that it looks like prices bottomed out in the fourth quarter of 2010. There were some very cheap units at Plaza Midtown and some other buildings, and it looks like those were all swept up by buyers and that prices are up by about $20K-30K from where they were. As mentioned above, many prices in Viewpoint and Spire have started to rise as well. Most listings in Viewpoint are above what the owner paid.

Now that I have piqued, or at least enhanced, your interest in Midtown, here are a few links to get you involved with what is happening. As someone who moved here a few years ago after living in NYC (East Village), L.A., Dallas, Portland, as well as Asia and Australia, I found links like these helpful.


I am shopping units for sale for either myself or clients daily. I work with investors seeking cash flow producing high quality units, and I also deal with those looking for a cool highrise to live in. I have friends in most buildings and have spent a considerable amount of time in most of these buildings. In many cases I know most all of the floor plans by heart and often am very familiar with the sales history of each floor plan. By having this understanding I can better represent my clients and offer them the greatest degree of service and insight.

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One Response to “Midtown Atlanta”
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