April 14, 2013

WalkUPs Report


A study of Walkable Urban Places (WalkUPs) in the Atlanta region was conducted in 2013 by Chris Leinberger of the George Washington University School of Business. Leinberger believes that WalkUPs will drive tomorrow’s national real estate industry and the economy, turning what was once a niche market into the market. He cites metro Atlanta as a harbinger for the rest of the country, as the region replaces urban sprawl with successful walkable communities – a change that he says is as important as the closing of the American frontier in the 1890s.

Leinberger conducted a similar study in the Washington, D.C. region and is in discussions with other metro areas, including Boston and Detroit about doing studies there.

StudyHighlights

  • Metro Atlanta’s walkable urban places are attracting an increasing share of new development and have seen a rise in rent premiums over drivable suburban areas.
  • Leinberger’s report puts the Atlanta region’s WalkUPs into three categories, Current, Emerging and Potential.
  • The report notes that from 1992-2000, roughly 13 percent of real estate investment in the region went into Current and Emerging WalkUPs. From 2001-2008, that number doubled to 26 percent. Since 2009, it more than doubled again, reaching 60 percent.
  • Current and Emerging WalkUPs account for 1/200 (.55 percent) of the region’s land area and 1/5 (20 percent) of the region’s office, retail and other commercial real estate.
  • Current and Emerging WalkUPs contain 22 percent of the region’s jobs.
  • Average rent for all development types in Current WalkUPs is 112 percent higher than in drivable suburban areas.
  • Only 19 percent of office space delivered in the 1990s was built in then-Established WalkUPs. This increased to 31 percent in the 2000s and to 50 percent in 2009-2013.

There are seven types of WalkUPs in metro Atlanta. They are listed below, along with a few examples of each type:

  • Downtown – Georgia State and Government Center (includes ARC headquarters)
  • Downtown Adjacent – Centennial Olympic Park, Midtown
  • Urban Commercial – Arts Center, Inman Park
  • Urban University – Atlanta University Center, Emory, Georgia Tech
  • Suburban Town Center – Marietta, Decatur
  • Strip Commercial Redevelopment – Buckhead, Roswell
  • Greenfield/Brownfield – Atlantic Station

Metro Atlanta WalkUPs

Current

  • Arts Center
  • Atlanta University Center
  • Atlantic Station
  • Buckhead
  • Buckhead Triangle
  • Buckhead Village
  • Castleberry Hill
  • Centennial Olympic Park
  • Cumberland South
  • Decatur
  • Emory
  • Georgia Tech
  • Georgia State – Government Center
  • Inman Park – Beltline
  • Lindbergh
  • Marietta
  • Midtown
  • Peachtree Center
  • Perimeter @ The Center
  • Ponce
  • Roswell
  • Sandy Springs
  • SoNo
  • South Buckhead
  • Sweet Auburn
  • Upper Westside
  • West End Mall

Emerging

  • Brookhaven
  • Doraville
  • Gwinnett
  • Hapeville
  • North Point
  • Perimeter East
  • Perimeter Summit
  • Perimeter West @ 400
  • Town Center

Potential

  • College Park
  • Cumberland North
  • Encore Park
  • Fort McPherson
  • Kensington Station
  • Serenbe
  • Southlake Mall
  • Windward

NOTICE: Gov. Brian Kemp has extended a public health emergency declaration and a statewide shelter-in-place order for older adults and medically fragile residents through June 12.

The Atlanta Regional Commission office at 229 Peachtree Street, NE Atlanta, is closed to the public until further notice. All employees are working remotely and conducting business operations. ARC employees can be contacted directly during normal business hours. However, if you need immediate assistance call 404-463-3100.

If you are seeking resources for older persons and individuals with disabilities, contact us at404-463-3333 or visit empowerline.org.

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