Industry Report Underscores the Value of Downtown Atlanta

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

Downtown Atlanta showed significant growth in vibrancy and economic activity since 2010, ranking it as a “growing downtown” among 24 cities studied in a new report by the International Downtown Association.

Cities and regions have the potential to generate profound lasting benefits through investment in downtowns and center cities, according to The Value of U.S. Downtowns and Center Cities: Second Edition report released by the International Downtown Association (IDA). While small in physical size, downtowns are immensely valuable, diverse, efficient, inclusive and resilient on multiple levels. From driving tax revenue and business activity to spurring smart development and innovative workplaces, downtowns play a pivotal role in the long-term health of a region.

The report encompasses 100 key data points to evaluate downtowns on five principles including: Economy, Inclusion, Vibrancy, Identity, and Resilience, while also benchmarking them against their respective cities and regions.  The downtown Atlanta area studied is generally bounded by North Avenue to the north, I-20 to the south, Northside Drive to the west, and Boulevard to the east.

Key findings for Downtown Atlanta include:

Downtown Atlanta is categorized as a “growing downtown” making up approximately 2.5% of the citywide land area

42% increase in residential growth in Downtown between 2010 and 2016, outpacing the 10% residential growth in the city overall.

Much of this growth occurred on the fringes of Downtown; to the north and east of the core

28% of the City’s jobs are located in Downtown Atlanta – along with 43% of the City’s creative jobs

Land value is $1.7 billion per square mile, a rate 9.2 times higher than the citywide rate

11% of the city’s retail spending occurs in Downtown, amounting to $1 billion in annual sales.

40% of Downtown residents utilize alternative commute methods (non-single occupancy vehicles), including transit (15%), walking (14%), carpool (7%) and biking (1%).  

“Though relatively small in total land mass, Downtown Atlanta provides a significant economic and community return,” said A.J. Robinson, president of Atlanta Downtown.  “This report, coupled with an additional $9 billion in total investment under construction or planned for Downtown Atlanta over the next ten years, evidences the inherent value in investing in our City’s core.”