The Downtown submarket’s image has grown more and more tarnished over the years, especially in comparison to the neighboring Buckhead and Midtown submarkets, which have “aged” extremely well. To most, Downtown has been the dirty, grimy area of the city marked by
high crime and homelessness. But senior community and business leaders in the Downtown submarket are proud of the improvements that have been made in recent years and are excited to see what the future holds as the area tries to turn its image around. Here are just a few of the improvements that leaders are sure will impressed people and once again lure them downtown:
- Developer Investment – downtown investments are looking smarter and smarter as large chunks of space in the Atlanta market fill up; also, billions and billions of dollars have been invested in entertainment development (College Football Hall of Fame, new Falcon’s stadium, National Center of Civil and Human Rights) as well as existing product (hotels, office buildings, restaurants, shopping centers, etc.)
- Public safety – Downtown has shed its old image and is no statistically the safest area of the city. The APD employs 2,000 police offers, who partner with another 3,000 private security individuals, to keep the city and its residents safe. Atlanta will soon have more than 10,000 security cameras littered around the city.
- Georgia State University – Georgia State University is now the state’s largest public university and is creating a very deep talent pool for companies looking to expand their workforce. In addition to the talent pool, GSU has emerged as a major player in the commercial real estate game; the university currently owns $5.4 billion in real estate and have more than $1.4 billion in improvements underway (check of their new College of Law).
- Infrastructure – the city, along with the federal government, as invested more than $11 million in improving Downtown’s infrastructure. Several “city enhancement” plans are currently underway, including one on Peachtree Street over I-75/85.
- Panhandling and Vending – the APD has enacted new measures to deter illegal street vendors from peddling on the streets of Downtown. Ordinances have also been put in place to “remove visual blight” and limit the size and amount of advertising signs that business can put in their windows and in front of their business.
- Homelessness – several groups around Downtown have worked to relocate homeless people to semi-permanent or permanent homes. The Gateway Center has relocated more than 500 individuals and families this year alone, and a new organization hopes to place 800 people in stable housing by 2015.