Atlanta’s small-town vision

Atlanta since World War II has had two visions. The first was that it would become the Business Capital of the South. A foundational principle that evolved later from that vision was that it would be The City Too Busy to Hate.

The latter was the genius of marketing, but the phrase helped the city’s exceptional leadership catch the attention of entrepreneurs, pioneers and others who wanted to become a part of that dream. The myth became aspirational and, in many quarters, the myth became reality.
As it did, Atlanta prospered.

Atlanta’s second vision was that it would become a city of strong, independent neighborhoods, like Virginia-Highlands or West End and that development would be managed to serve neighborhood interests. The successful efforts to block the proposed Stone Mountain Freeway, for example, served existing neighborhoods, but cut downtown Atlanta from easy access to the growth areas of DeKalb and Gwinnett.

Decades later, Atlantans pretty much have the city they want. It’s no longer the dominant center of Metro Atlanta. Except for a few retailers like Ikea, it’s commercial district serves nearby neighborhoods. Businesses that are not targeting nearby neighborhoods are drifting elsewhere. The New Downtown is between Cumberland Mall and Perimeter Mall.

Atlanta has a mayor’s race underway. It’s disappointing, but not surprising, to hear the candidates run-out the same shop-worn ideas that  surface in campaigns, but aren’t very practical for governing.  The consensus seems to be that somebody else should help Atlantans bear the bills for decisions made by the kinds of politicians they have chosen to elect.  That somebody else is either the federal government, the state government, or “commuters.”

The inability to manage crime and budgets threatens to turn Atlanta into a beggar city.   Highly-publicized murders 30 years ago of  a visiting research physician, Dr. Marc Tetalman, and of 26-year-old Patricia Barry, a legal secretary in the law firm of former Gov. Carl Sanders,  were devastating blows to downtown, then the business and commercial center of Metro Atlanta.   

 Adding a so-called commuter tax to address Atlanta’s spending  problems would  be a devastating policy choice for business. Businesses would be forced either to raise salaries to cover the additional tax  or they’d be forced to relocate to affordable labor. 

Liberals and conservatives alike love to tax non-residents and the unborn.  A commuter-tax, however, will be the blow that finishes turning the city into a fiefdom of independent neighborhoods, all clamoring for a Publix, Whole Foods or Kroger subsidized by somebody else.  Non-residents who might have been available to create the critical mass necessary to support those businesses will vote on a commuter tax with their feet.  Atlanta, Small Town U.S.A.

85 comments Add your comment

Ward

October 27th, 2009
8:44 am

Urban planners always wonder why shoppers flock to malls rather than drive downtown. The answer is simple: free parking. The commuter tax for Atlanta is just the municipal equivalent of charging for parking… and you can expect a similar result.

Cutty

October 27th, 2009
8:58 am

…..or we can just keep letting folks from Cobb and Gwinnett use our city streets, parking, and other infrastructure for free, while they thumb their noses at us on their way back home. A commuter tax would never get by the General Assembly, but a parking tax (10% of $5.00 is $.50) wouldn’t kill everyone. Other large cities have this, and haven’t experienced the ‘flight to the suburbs’ that some scream. Suburbanites don’t want to chip in for MARTA but you sure see a lot of them in the MARTA parking lot on game day.

OneChris

October 27th, 2009
9:00 am

I work downtown and I am always looking over my shoulder even when cops are on foot and bicycles in plain view as it is a haven for the homeless. I see them pee on the walls all the time. They are aggressive and will follow you if you are not nice to them when the ask for money. No one wants to bother with being downtown. There are not drug stores, grocery stores or even apartments that are upscale. Georgia State is the only growing area and even then the students stay in their safe area which I would also unless in a group. Atlanta has been successful in creating the urban sprawl and now the affluent are the only ones who dare live downtown as they have maids to shop for them and drivers to take them to the malls.

Admitted Liberal

October 27th, 2009
9:03 am

Very Insightful

Midtown Reverse Commuter

October 27th, 2009
9:08 am

“Businesses would be forced either to raise salaries to cover the additional tax or they’d be forced to relocate to affordable labor.”

Just as they do when health insurance, etc. rates go up, businesses would simply let their employees pay this additional cost.

OneChris

October 27th, 2009
9:08 am

MARTA was NEVER welcomed by the state and in the start of the planning was doomed by the old white majority at the State Senate who would be damn if they would support paying for a train they would not use. The old saying is true! There are two Georgia’s –> There is Atlanta and then there is Georgia. Most of the people (and I do mean all races) of Georgia see MARTA as a rat hole for the poor and they do not want their tax money going to that hell hole. Also now with the Homestead Exemption being take away many Ga. tax payers are mad as hornets so thanks for nothing good old Governor. U are breaking the backs of the people and for that no one will ever support more funding of MARTA.

Wayne

October 27th, 2009
9:12 am

“The New Downtown is between Cumberland Mall and Perimeter Mall.” What a joke, like saying the new capital of Georgia is Dunwoody.

Paul A

October 27th, 2009
9:26 am

Jim,

Finally a blog that’s worth reading and commenting on and nobody’s here.
3 comments?

Apparently if there isn’t some sort of race baiting or discussion of Mike Vick nobody has anything to say except me.

I owned a condo in midtown from 1991-2002. I paid $88k and sold for $160k. I enjoyed living intown and I did well financially, but I also knew when it was time to get out.

The writing has been all over the wall for years. I finally got it after my vehicle was broken into 3 times in one month. The car was parked behind a locked gate with video surveillance but that didn’t deter the scumbags. Smashed windows, torn up seats and radio stolen three times in a month????? WTF are the police?

Yesterday on ajc.com there was a story about a pizza shop across the street from City Hall East that got smash and grabbed for 3 flat screen TVs. Hello… across the street from City Hall East… do you know how many cops are there at any given time? A lot ! Where were they? Consider the ball$ on the guys who pulled the heist. Typical downtown Atlanta trash.

I watched my neighbors move out and take their money with them. Finally I decided to do the same.

The political corruption, crime, lack of basic services, bums, filthyness, high taxes and bad schools left me no alternative…. Cobb County here I come.

Atlanta is a lost cause at this point. Norwood might be able to correct some of the problems but as long as those who can’t afford a car are running the city and government agencies everybody is doomed.

A commuter tax….. LMAO !! All that will do is drive more people away and there will be more complaining from city residents, “We need more money… Where’s all the revenue we were promised?”

Balance your budget Atlanta. Live within your means Atlanta. Stop complaining and screaming about race and fix your problems. Maybe then business will return to downtown. Until then, anybody with half a brain should leave Atlanta. C’mon out to Cobb County. We actually have a surplus in our budget. We have police officers and firefighters ready to work. We have a local government that serves the people instead of the other way around. We have clean streets. We have good schools. We fix our potholes. Our parks are safe and clean.

Bill

October 27th, 2009
9:40 am

Wooten must be retiring to the intercity of Atlanta but what about the AJC ? Gone are both.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

October 27th, 2009
9:43 am

Cutty nailed it.

David

October 27th, 2009
9:45 am

I don’t really understand the point of this article but if it is about a commuter tax then you are doing it wrong.

Having people travel from different parts of a city helps to retain its vibrancy, not overpriced condos or a slew of chain restaurants. If you want people to travel more economically and reduce traffic, make MARTA a realistic alternative by making it cleaner and actually go places.

Also, if you want people to go downtown, make it interesting rather than a series of touristy things that very few people care about. Make it an actual neighborhood that people would want to live in, rather than just leave when work is over.

GayBlackCripple

October 27th, 2009
9:51 am

Without Atlanta, this state would be dirt roads and gap-toothed crackers in bib overalls fighting over chicken farms and sheep.

Wake up crackers and gimme my money!

HDB

October 27th, 2009
10:07 am

Atlanta has ALWAYS had a small town vision; if you need to solve the revenue dilemna, here’re a few ideas:

1) 24/7/365 liquor sales – like New Orleans; if not 24-hr, at least make 7 day liquor sales available – like Des Moines, Chicago, San Francisco, New York….
2) DO NOT CLOSE THE CITY DURING INCLEMENT WEATHER! No major city closes during bad weather…but Atlanta does!!
3) Charge for parking at the MARTA stations that are commuter hubs! THAT’S where you collect the commuter fees….not in taxes!
4) Raise the commuter fare access by CCT, GCT, and XPRESS….$.50.
5) START THINKING LIKE A MAJOR CITY….regional traffic flow…and increase the speed limits!!

That’ll get the ball rolling!!

Mutts R Dirty, Filthy Scum -ToHellWithGeorgia

October 27th, 2009
10:08 am

Soon, all that will be left in Atlanta will be government offices, colleges and universities, and the masses demanding more free government services. The private sector will have relocated outside the city limits. Mean while, the Atlanta cops, firemen, and city employees will be demanding more money from a bankrupt city that cannot meet its current pension obligations. Know this: there will be no bailout of the crooked city of atlanta by the people of Cobb County, or by the State of Georgia. Maybe the Pimp-in-Chief will give the crooked city some freshly printed Federal dollars, but I suspect the pimp will have much bigger problems in his second year in office than now, and will not be able to muster the Congressional support needed for such a give away. Hmmm, does impeachment sound premature?

Roekest

October 27th, 2009
10:16 am

@ Paul A,

Great post, but the pizza place that was burglarized was across the street from the main City Hall…..you know, the one where Shirley works and where City Council promises beefed up police coverage but then doesn’t deliver. It’s also across the street from the Fulton County Government Center….you know, that place where a violent rapist was able to overpower his guards, steal their guns, kill three people, and disappeared for a while.

Yeah, that’s the city I have to work in everyday because I can’t find a better job thanks to the boobs in Washington who are outsourcing my country to the lowest bidders. Pay a commuter tax??? I’ll happily pay a commuter tax when the police clean up crime and the bums around my office who hassle me for change everyday….

ATL Resident

October 27th, 2009
10:24 am

I agree, the communter tax is foolish and counterproductive. At least the one serious candidate in this mayoral race, Kasim Reed, agrees. If the fools who lead some of Atlanta’s neighborhoods have their way, however, we’ll have 4 years of Mary Norwood’s lunacy to drive those who made Atlanta successful into the northern suburbs or out-of-state entirely.

GayBlackCripple

October 27th, 2009
10:25 am

Roekest – you’re a wimp. Man up or wear a skirt.

Cutty

October 27th, 2009
10:29 am

The allow GRTA, the CCT, and the XPress to just roll into the city free of charge. If they don’t want to pay for MARTA or any of the other infrastructure they use, fine. The just tax these transportation entities for the right to use the streets of Atlanta. The idle for long periods of time in public right-of-way, producing smog and other crap, have stops and signage on city property, and pay for nothing. Republicans are the Kings of Fees, so why not tack a ‘fee’ on to park in the city. Look how many cars come into Atlanta each day. The commuter tax is a no go, but a parking tax would actually encourage people to use public transit, which would partly assist with the transportation woes. Put the money in a Trust Account where it could only be used to upgrade city infrastructure. This would alleviate money in the general fund to be used for other purposes, like public safety.

Commuters won’t like it, but they’ve gotten over for years in not paying a dime for the services they use. If they’re at work and have an emergency, they call 911 and Atlanta Public Safety comes to them free of charge and residents pick up the tab. Those days are over.

findog

October 27th, 2009
10:30 am

That too busy to hate was really just too busy to notice. The Rodney King riots in 1992 proved the lie in the slogan. Maynard and Andy coined the phrase to gloss over the racial tensions and ensure that bonds could be sold for superficial above ground projects. The city was rotten to its core of inadequate storm and sewer infrastructure where political power created a new Tammany Hall of set aside contracts that were repartitions for the original sin of slavery. Esteemed mayors like Hartsfield were no better kicking the can down the road when it came to infrastructure and water supply which the entire region now waits to see what price his astute decisions are about to be paid by everyone, not just the city’s inhabitants. Andy was chased from the projects when he tried to camp out at Bank Head Courts in a barrowed National Guard tent because the caste system in the African-American community helped hold those people down with meager handouts and attention to their plight was only given when election season came around. White flight was exasperated by perimeter politicians that ran on anti-MARTA fears of that Atlanta’s criminal element [big scary black men] would be taking a bus out to the burb’s to rob and rape. And those who fled were too blinded by racism to realize that you can’t take a TV set or stereo stolen from the McMansionville homes on the bus to the pawnshop. Nixon’s southern strategy type of mind set exemplified in your inability to accept the need to pay for Atlanta’s mass transit or health care to the homeless you disgorge into the bowls of the city from the burb’s is too one-sided to even consider an honest effort to open a discussion on what the next mayor should try to do to address the issues of the metropolitan area. The race riot of 92 proved that the disenfranchised blacks would use any excuse to get their 40-acres and a mule Sherman promised from anyone, without regard for the race of the owner, because they were tired of waiting for a change they could believe in…

Cutty

October 27th, 2009
10:31 am

They, They, and They (the executive and legislative branches of the city).

Bring Me the Head of Deforest Kelley

October 27th, 2009
10:31 am

Jim, when people outside the city limits start paying for what they already use from Atlanta – be it roads, transit, hospitals – then you can complain about Atlanta’s leadership. The rest of this state gets tremendous benefit from what only a few hundred thousand people foot the bill for.

Keith

October 27th, 2009
10:32 am

Why are we still discussing the idea of a commuter tax? It will NEVER happen. Even if the City were foolish enough to try to enact it, the state would NEVER approve it. Commuter taxes are not practical in any American city, except New York.

And there are still plenty of businesses in the City, and yes Downtown. All of the big four accounting firms are in the City (3 of them downtown). Most, if not all of the top 25 law firms are in the City (6 or 7 of them downtown; one just announced in the ABC that it is moving from midtown to downtown). Turner Broadcasting, Coca-Cola, Georgia Pacific, Southern Company, SunTrust Banks, Georgia Power and Bank of America are downtown. Wachovia and BB&T are in midtown. There are still, and will continue to be, thousands and thousand of employees in the city and downtown.

To the person who said Georgia State was the only growing area of downtown, have you been around Centennial Park lately. None of the growth there (restaurants, hotels, attractions, residential) existed 10-15 years ago. It was a wasteland.

And to suburbanites that gloat about Atlanta’s demise, if Atlanta goes, the whole metro area will lose its attractiveness to new businesses and residents. It is not in your best interest to wish for the demise of Atlanta.

ask a Native

October 27th, 2009
10:36 am

“The City Too Busy to Hate”

ALWAYS found this amusing. No city in this country could claim this. Not one.

suburbs scare me

October 27th, 2009
10:39 am

@ Paul: Perhaps the problem was you lived in Midtown in the 1990s and left right as it started to turn around, bad timing on your part. Now Midtown is safe, its Taco Mac, Hudson Grill, Gordon Biersch, all the restaurants on Crescent Street and on Piedmont Park, CVS on Peachtree, Publix on West Peachtree…yeah sounds like a dangerous blighted hell hole…give me a break.

Now go out to Cobb and Gwinnett where there is row after row of empty strip centers, closed restaurants, completely empty neighborhoods, drug cartels doing business in foreclosed homes, Publix supermarkets closing. I don’t know if you are familar at all with commercial real estate but it takes an area being down right abandoned for a Publix to close and I know of 4 out your way.

Intown is the most stable during the recession and will be the first to come back, new residents to ATL and the next generation of leadership and business people the 24-30 yr old crowd that will be making their way as the economy recovers doesn’t want the unsustainable lifestyle with 2 hour commutes and no options but their car. Like at any point of change in our history the next generation wants a different life than the current one and the current generation can’t cope with the fact that future development doesn’t cater to them, they are on their way out.

Gwinnetian

October 27th, 2009
10:41 am

The undesirables are already here. If they have a chevy and some gas they will come. Duluth and Lawrenceville have been going downhill for the last five years. Cobb County? What a joke. I hope you speak spanish. Gwinnett has become a hideout for illegals and drug traffickers. Yeah, the suburbs are TOTALLY desirable.

Keith

October 27th, 2009
10:42 am

Thank you for some common sense, “suburbs scare me.” Heck, Metropolis, widely viewed as the real kick-off to the resurrection of Midtown, did not even open until 2001. Since then all of the growth you mentioned plus thousands of condo units have been developed creating critical mass.

Mutts R Dirty, Filthy Scum -ToHellWithGeorgia

October 27th, 2009
10:43 am

Yo GayBlackCripple – I bet you are on Social Security Disability payments, right you dead beat scum bag? How did U git crippled, robbing a pawn shop? I bet you also live in Section 8 housing. Git off this blog, dead beats ain’t welcome.

Gwinnetian

October 27th, 2009
10:45 am

No worries, once the elite finish gentrifying the west end and other undesirable areas of Atlanta I will be back! Should buy property now while it’s cheap, in a few yrs it’ll sell for 4x it’s worth. Just ask the folks in centennial park.

suburbs scare me

October 27th, 2009
10:45 am

@ Keith
The people who spew this hate towards ATL are the ones that left 30 years ago and haven’t come back so they have no reference to see their areas are the blighted ones now. Centennial Park and Downtown as a whole are on the verge of a renaissance with the College Football Hall of Fame and a new Georgia Dome in the near future there will be over a million more people every year than there are even now with the aquarium and the world of coke.

The funniest part is their bashing of MARTA yet they are the ones that use it most. I live in town and never use MARTA because everything is already within 1 mile of me. But try getting on MARTA when the SEC Championship or Peach Bowl is here theres a line onto the street of people who are OBVIOUSLY from out of town. How smart is it to say you don’t want MARTA coming to where you live but you will then spend gas money, parking money, and fare money to ride it.

BPJ

October 27th, 2009
10:47 am

Mr. Wooten is increasingly out of touch with the reality in the city. (30 year-old murder cases?) He could have started by mentioning that Kasim Reed is opposed to both a commuter tax and a parking tax. Instead, Mr. Wooten leaves his readers with the misleading impression that “the candidates” are proposing a commuter tax.

The “new Downtown” is Downtown + Midtown + Buckhead. Actually, just Downtown and Midtown together have more people and jobs than the Perimeter or Cumberland areas. There are THOUSANDS of people living Downtown, whereas 25 years ago there were almost none. Mr. Wooten gets confused when he sees fewer cars Downtown than there were 25 years ago – from this he concludes there are fewer people working Downtown than there were – actually it’s just that thousands of them are now taking MARTA rail, not to mention the Cobb and Gwinnett commuter buses.

Old perceptions die hard. 20 years ago, the city population was less educated and less well-off than the surrounding suburbs; now the opposite is true. Someone please tell Mr. Wooten and some of the commenters.

Marcos

October 27th, 2009
10:48 am

Atlantan suburbanites are too weak and simple-minded to handle a real city so they bash away at Atlanta. It’s pathetic and they do not realize they are shooting themselves in the foot. Atlanta fails and we all fail.

ask a Native

October 27th, 2009
10:48 am

It slightly amuses me when whites come on the blogs posing as ghetto blacks. Very transparent, and very LAME

suburbs scare me

October 27th, 2009
10:50 am

@Gwinnetian
your comments about Lawrenceville and Duluth are the first on those areas from someone out there that are based in reality. I have to go out there regularly and there are areas in Lawrenceville and Lilburn heading towards Lawrenceville that are scary during the day. And if you are lost in parts of Duluth forget trying to figure out where you are because none of the signs are in English, i have to say not generally a problem i come across in Midtown.

Gwinnetian

October 27th, 2009
10:51 am

The Olympics was the worst thing to happen to Atlanta. The undesirables (this includes you complaining, YANKEE northerners) came for work and never left. I blame the transplants. Transplants, go home and take this trash with you.

Mike

October 27th, 2009
11:00 am

Findog, the phrase “The City Too Busy to Hate” was coined by Mayor Hartsfield in the 1950s. Atlanta didn’t have the problems that cities in Alabama did because even our segregationist politicians didn’t want violence and horror. As Carl Sanders said, “I’m a segregationist, but not a damned fool.”

“Downtown” hasn’t been downtown for decades. People thought that the new Rich’s store at Five Points was too far south of the main shopping district up near Davison’s, and that was in the late 1920s! Now we’ve got big new buildings from North Avenue up to 17th Street that hopefully someone will occupy when the economy comes back.

BPJ

October 27th, 2009
11:00 am

Suburbs don’t scare me, but I have to agree with “suburbs scare me” that Paul left Midtown at just the wrong time – 2002. My wife and I have been living in Midtown since 1999, and it’s now the best it’s ever been.

Gwinnetian

October 27th, 2009
11:02 am

scare- I live in Gwinnett because I work in Gwinnett. The commute is convenient. If not for the annoying commute, I’d prefer to live in the city for the reasons mentioned. I am eyeing some gentrified areas for my move next yr. Hopefully the crime will have cleaned up some by then, but I suppose it’s really no better here. I’m socializing intown almost every weekend, you guessed it, by way of gool ol’ Marta.

Barrie

October 27th, 2009
11:12 am

I’m afraid that Atlanta is drifting backwards into a small town mentality. Just look at Mary Norwood’s small time USA campaign ads…..as if she were running for Mayor of Americus, Ga.

suburbs scare me

October 27th, 2009
11:13 am

Haha I guess i should clarify, suburbs in general don’t scare me, although they are not my thing. The Atlanta suburbs scare me, atleast the ones i’ve seen. It seems to either be Mexican or Asian mafia or rednecks on meth. The middle class, the educated people, have all moved to suburban type neighborhoods in town like Ansley Park, Morningside, Garden Hills, Peachtree Hills. You can have a house and a yard in town without the traffic and closed mindedness.

Noah

October 27th, 2009
11:16 am

“The New Downtown is between Cumberland Mall and Perimeter Mall.”

Are you serious. Not for all of us who actually live in Atlanta and see the amazing growth.

booger

October 27th, 2009
11:16 am

The greatest problem for Atlanta is it’s size in relation to the metro area. The AJC recently showed Atlanta’s actual population as a percent of the metro area to be by far the smallest of several cities studied. Charlotte N.C. for example is quite a bit larger than Atlanta.

The question one has to ask is why hasn’t Atlanta annexed surrounding prosperous areas like other cities. The answer? The leadership of this fine city did not want to alter it’s voter base. If the leadership had really wanted to do what was best for the city, they would have grown the city physically as well as the population. They were more interested, however, in maintaining a majority black voter base than what was best for the city.

When praising Atlanta many call it the economic engine of the state. The truth is the Metro area is the engine, and Atlanta is becoming a smaller and smaller factor in the metro area. They have isolated themselves in a demogrophic corner, and refuse to see what’s going on around them.

Looking forward all cities are going to become less relevant than in the past. Computers make going to the office for many a quaint old idea, and jobs such as manufacturing, which require a physical presence will follow the cheap labor. The romance of a strong vibrant city center is fading.

suburbs scare me

October 27th, 2009
11:22 am

booger thats not the reason at all. Places like Doraville, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Smyrna all formed their own municipalities for the very reason of preventing Atlanta from annexing them. There is no reason that Dunwoody and Sandy Springs arguably the most connected outlying areas to the city should not be part of Atlanta except that they didn’t want to be. Atlanta managed to annex Buckhead in the 1940s or 1950s before all this started and Buckhead still has people trying to break away.

suburbs scare me

October 27th, 2009
11:25 am

and though the city center may not be the economic center it once was it is becoming dense with residential. The younger generation who are buying their first homes don’t want to get in their car and drive 4 miles to buy milk, they want to walk out their front door around the corner and into the store, and thats what in town has to offer.

BPJ

October 27th, 2009
11:29 am

Maybe when someone posts as “booger” that says enough that no one will take it seriously, but I can’t let the inaccurate statements about Atlanta history stand. Mayor Hartsfield had the opportunity to annex some surrounding areas, but let it pass due to his own doubts about the legality of the procedure. Later, the law was changed to make it harder for Atlanta to annex territory. This is discussed at some length in Rick Allen’s history of Atlanta from 1946-1996. It’s true that some later mayors may have been concerned about diluting black votes, but the “rest of the story” is that suburban voters were adamantly against annexation.

The notion that cities are becoming less relevant or that the idea of a strong city center is less attractive than it once was is laughably out of touch. Cities all over America are benefitting from renewed interest in city living. But thanks anyway for that postcard from the 1970s.

suburbs scare me

October 27th, 2009
11:32 am

fact of the matter is where businesses locate are a lagging indicator of where the growth is, people come first, business follows. I know plenty of people who live in town and commute to Smyrna and Dunwoody and other suburban office areas, so where do you think those places will relocate when they get the chance?

scrappy

October 27th, 2009
11:32 am

“Commuters come into the city and use Atlanta’s resources for free”

Are you forgetting that while they are here in the city they eat at your resturants, stop at your gas station or drug store, pay for parking, pay for shows and the like – all of which goes to keep people working in downtown.

A commuter tax will only increase the number of people who work from home and do nothing to help the city of Atlanta.

Chris

October 27th, 2009
11:37 am

Take a look at this report on office sub-markets in Atlanta:

http://www.colliers.com/Content/Repositories/Base/Markets/Atlanta/English/Market_Report/PDFs/3Q09OfficeMarketReport.pdf

On the 2nd page, you’ll notice that the only sub-markets seeing positive absorption (as in companies moving in) are Midtown and Downtown. All of the “new” Atlanta downtowns are seeing business moving out. It’s too bad this doesn’t fit your story, but those are the facts.

zeke

October 27th, 2009
11:44 am

THE CITY TOO BUSY TO HATE? WHAT AN ABSURD MOTTO! ATLANTA HAS BEEN THE CENTER OF RACIAL HATE FOR THE LAST 30 TO 40 YEARS! CONSTANTLY ELECTING BLACK OFFICIALS, UNQUALIFIED TO LEAD AND MANAGE, HAS KILLED ATLANTA! IT HAS ALL BEEN ABOUT RACE! UNLESS THAT CHANGES, ATLANTA WILL BECOME THE THIRD WORLD CITY IT SO MUCH COVETS! YEARS AND YEARS OF IGNORING NEEDED INFRASTRUCTURE MAINTAINENCE TO BUILD MORE AND MORE PUBLIC HOUSING GHETTOS, MORE AND MORE ITEMS FOR TIRED DEAD NEIGHBORHOODS HAS COST ATLANTA PROPERTY OWNERS AND TAXPAYERS $ BILLIONS OF WASTEFULL TAX INCREASES! DO THE RIGHT THING! ELECT QUALIFIED COUNCIL AND MAYOR, NOT JUST ANOTHER BLACK!!!

YY

October 27th, 2009
11:44 am

I had a nice condo in midtown for years and enjoyed all the perks that came with it like walking to the park, restaurants, not driving much, etc. However, I saw the storm clouds coming a few years ago with the water/sewer fiasco, in town crime, taxes and the undesirables on every corner, and decided it was time to move on. I now enjoy living outside the city limits not too far but far enough to enjoy a nice size house without neighbors on top, below, and both sides of me. I DON’T miss trying to go to for a walk or to the grocery store or LOWE’S and always have someone begging me for money.

DirtyDawg

October 27th, 2009
11:44 am

Hey Paul A…you folks still carping about that silly Evolution thing out there? How about the ban on same-sex family lifestyle? And of course the initial (and continued) refusal to participate in MARTA because it would mean access that certain of our citizens would have to your beautiful, balanced-budget, pot-hole free (yeah, right) county. Oh yeah, did they ever figure out who’s been doing those murders down around Six Flags – that’s still in Cobb isn’t it?…and just who killed that guy they found this past weekend off Old Concord Road – somebody from Atlanta, no doubt…and if you think the smash-and-grab of TVs from sports bars is an Atlanta phenomenon, you ain’t been payin’ attention (by the way the ring of thieves most responsible were from Clayton County – I think that’s one of yours, although I expect you probably look down your noses at them too).

So you see those of us that enjoy living in town, and in my case, specifically have chosen to engage in our own version of ‘natural selection’ and gotten the hell out of Cobb County and/or stay out of it. You’d be surprised how much better life can be when you aren’t surrounded by bigotry and prejudice (and that was at church)…oh yeah, and WalMart People.

Bottom line. I think that way too many are still trying to see to it that the prophesy of that first ‘Election Race Card’, played all those years ago by Sam Massell, that proclaimed ‘Atlanta: A City Too Young to die.’…will still come true. Fortunately the majority of the white establishment back then was so offended by that they saw to it that it didn’t happen – of course if it happened now, I’m not so sure we could stop it. You see these days, when it comes to prejudice, some people just have no shame. In fact, I’d go so far as to say they’re proud of it.