The Millennials’ Impact on Atlanta


It seems as though the majority of development and redevelopment projects across the city are being designed to attract a specific demographic of residents – the Millennials. “Millennials” is the word used to describe people between the ages of 22 and 34 who are entering the workforce; these people generally are single or are married without children and because of this have a higher amount of disposable income per person.

Millennials are looking to establish a life in a much different way than their parents and grandparents before them – they want to establish it in the city. In the past, most people have retreated from the city to the suburbs once they are ready to establish a family and put down roots. Millennials, on the other hand, want to do all of this in town, so developers are racing to give them what they want. Mixed-use communities that provide the “live, work, play” environment that Millennials are seeking have begun popping up in the more affluent areas of the city, including Midtown, Buckhead, and Alpharetta.

Some believe that the Millennials phase is a trend like any other, that eventually the Millennials won’t be Millennials anymore and they will begin to see the benefits of living away from the city. The biggest example of this is education inside the perimeter vs. outside the perimeter. Most of the city’s top schools are outside of the Perimeter and when Millennials reach the age that they are starting families they might find that their priorities have shifted enough to leave their “Millennial” digs in the city for something closer to the better schools. Some disagree with this logic, saying that schools will improve over time as people return to the city and revitalize certain struggling areas.

Whether or not Millennials are here to stay they are certainly here now, and developers and Landlords across the city are racing to attract them. From a residential standpoint, thousands upon thousands of high-end luxury apartment units are under construction in Midtown and Buckhead; 7,000 are currently under construction and another 7,000 will break ground before the year is over. From an office standpoint, companies started by Millennials and those trying to attract Millennials talent (namely tech and personal service companies) are wanting open floor plans and “cool spaces,” spaces that have unique features like exposed brick and ceilings, moveable walls, wood floors, etc. Landlords are even trying to set themselves apart by offering unique “amenities” like Free Lunch Friday, Bring Your Dog to Work Day, and the like.


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