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Old 06-17-2012, 11:27 AM
 
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I work with a lot of young people. And I'm still in the pre-40 crowd myself. I've seen this a million times. As for every rule, there are exceptions, but the living usually takes place like this:

1) First pad is typically all over the map. People move here from other places, so they end up wherever Promove stuck them, generally unhappily.

2) Then people settle in and find a part of town they are comfortable with. Nowadays, it is more often intown than it was say 15 years ago just because there are more options available. For example, I wanted to live intown in 1997, but I wasn't willing to not have a dishwasher, so I waited until 2002 when appropirate properties (with washer/dryer connections, dishwashers, etc.) finally became readily available intown. So yeah, I would say we are seeing many more people intown now than 15 years ago becuase there are much better properties available now.

3) That doesn't really change number 3, though. At some point, most people decide to buy a place. A lot of people avoid intown becaue they either can't afford it, or aren't willing to give a property the time and investment it needs to become liveable. Generally the people who actually hunker down and buy intown are those who are still single and have no reason to think they will ever get married, or those who have the money to afford a nice property.

4) Number 4 is what I call the holdouts. These are the people that I've seen a lot of. Their the people who dig their intown pads and say things like they avoid OTP like the plague. Generally, one of two things happens. Most often, all of their friends start having kids and moving to the suburbs. They find their fabulous Friday and Saturday night dining and partying experiences are turning into repeatedly driving to Johns Creek for baby showers and rehearsal dinners. Eventually, they begin to realize that their once busy social calendar has become empty and they are all alone in a sea of neighbors they have increasingly less in common with. When they get married and/or have children, they bite the bullet and go become suburbanites and settle into the world of play dates, romper room, soccer practice, etc. Then there's another group, and I've seen this many times too. People who don't get married or have kids, but they move out to Dunwoody anyway. You ask them why and they say, "I just got sick of getting broken into and replacing my TV every 6 months." That's more for your urban pioneers than high rise condo dwellers.

5) Every rule has its exceptions, and then we have number 5. Some people just never get married, never have kids, and are perfectly happy having a smaller place intown. Sometimes people will decided to go settle in a family friendly section of town, like a Decatur or whatever and raise their children there. Most people, though, can't afford this. And I don't know anybody voluntarily raising children in East Atlanta Village or Old Fourth Ward. Now here will come the people saying "I see people walking children in Old Fourth Ward all the time!" Congratualtions. You are seeing the exceptions.
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
5) Every rule has its exceptions, and then we have number 5. Some people just never get married, never have kids, and are perfectly happy having a smaller place intown. Sometimes people will decided to go settle in a family friendly section of town, like a Decatur or whatever and raise their children there. Most people, though, can't afford this. And I don't know anybody voluntarily raising children in East Atlanta Village or Old Fourth Ward. Now here will come the people saying "I see people walking children in Old Fourth Ward all the time!" Congratualtions. You are seeing the exceptions.
Well, there are tons of families voluntarily raising their children in intown neighborhoods like Peachtree Park, Poncey Highland, Garden Hills, Candler Park, Pine Hills, Grant Park, North Buckhead, Virginia Highland, Kirkwood, Underwood Hills, Springlake, Brookhaven, Margaret Mitchell, Chastain, Brookwood Hills, Morningside, and many others. As we know from the recent redistricting, the schools are bursting at the seams.

Things have changed a lot. It's no longer necessary to move out in order to find great family friendly neighborhoods. It's far more than just an "exception to the rule" these days.
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
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Hrmm... I think all the people who say this is nothing new are missing a few things.

It isn't that there were no yuppies before, obviously there were that term has been around for a long time.

What is different is the change in demographics. How many more people are moving there and how many less of others who are priced out.

This is why we see more intown neighborhoods gentrifying and other neighborhoods that never needed to be gentrified greatly increase in value.

It is why we see the huge new influx of apartments and condos. The condo market is a little soft from the real estate crash, but the intown apartment market is through the roof and more and more keep getting built.

I also believe we see more couples with their first kids moving to "in-town suburbs." Areas 30-40 years ago would have been suburbs hands down no debate, but today are ideally located ITP. I think more people are renovating older suburban houses to work for them. They are older model houses with dated layouts and they are being upgraded in many cases to be less dated.

The other changes I'm noticing is there are fewer places that are mostly young people in the suburbs to move to. I am currently looking for a new place to move and suburban apartment complexes, condos, and townhomes are full of fairly large families....often of lower socioeconomic status than someone with a 4 year degree.

Now inversely my sister, who is 12 years older than I am, moved into suburban apartment complexes at a time when it was half families and half young people. The same ones I look at now tend to be tilted the other way.

I also heard stories from the 50-70s of some suburban apartment complexes being hot spots for young people. The problem is these places don't seem to functionally exist for a young-singles anymore.


Now I do have two-twists to add... I know some apartments on the fringe suburban/exurban areas are attracting 1/2 young people... often mostly white. Often without college degrees and more likely to be working jobs in suburban areas.

I'm also noticing younger people moving closer to suburban downtowns! People seem to be focusing on 3 miles from downtown, but what about 3 miles from Buckhead, 3 miles from Perimeter Center, etc... Many of the condos and apartments located -in- in the perimeter center are attracting more younger people than average. Vinings near Cumberland as one example.

So anyways this is where I am now... I'm 29 and still single trying to make a decision on what to do next. I don't see too many mid-range suburban options for myself. If I am looking for an areas to be around other singles I feel like I need to go way out or way in. I don't see too many apartments complexes or restaurants for that mattered filled with people in their 20s and early thirties in the suburbs. For my sister and those before her it seemed as if the thing to do after college was to go to a suburban apartment, live cheaper, until you got your own place and settled down. However, I feel like that option my sister had doesn't exist for me.
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:13 PM
 
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If you're a 29 year old renter, intown is the best option most of the time. When you decide to buy, you may find that you can't afford to buy intown, so why not rent there while you can.

You're also more likely to meet eligible singles, I assume you are in the dating pool.

Just like the city has some families, the suburbs has some singles. Most of them, though, tend to be divorced people or people without college educations. Of course, you'll find the occasional single educated suburban dweller who just isn't into the whole city life thing, but for the most part, young educated people want to be in the city with the other young educated people.

Then there's Perimeter center, which is a different ballgame. It now has a bit of an urban feel and has attracted Intermezzo, Local Luna, and other intown type restaurants. But it's still nice and safe and suburban at heart. I always think of it as the place for ex-sorority girls who want all the trendiness of midtown, but are too scared to actually venture down there on a Saturday night. Of course, it could also be that some people are just sick of the hassle of valets, cover charges, and long lines.

I know every time I go into town I like it a little less. Just this weekend I got a parking ticket on Myrtle! I didn't know you needed a resident sticker to park there. I mean, a $25 ticket isn't the end of the world, especially considering I parked there to avoid a lot that cost $20....but still, those little things can make people less prone to frequent intown establishments, so I think you will probably see a rise in areas like Perimeter center where the amenities of the city move out to the suburbs.

Probably not before you're out of your 30s, though, so go rent in midtown while you're young and can!
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
...Of course, it could also be that some people are just sick of the hassle of valets, cover charges, and long lines.

I know every time I go into town I like it a little less. Just this weekend I got a parking ticket on Myrtle! I didn't know you needed a resident sticker to park there. I mean, a $25 ticket isn't the end of the world, especially considering I parked there to avoid a lot that cost $20....but still, those little things can make people less prone to frequent intown establishments, so I think you will probably see a rise in areas like Perimeter center where the amenities of the city move out to the suburbs.
Not to digress too much, but the lack of free parking is something that will continue to haunt intown Atlanta until we fix it. Let's face it, this is the south and cars are how we get around. And we DO NOT like paying for parking or tipping valets or getting a ticket for simply parking at the curb.
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:05 PM
 
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The problem is, free parking has become LESS available instead of more over the years.

I know that parking can't always be free in the city. But I think street parking on residential streets should be free. I'm willing to walk a few blocks to park on the street for free.

I had heard of the parking permits in midtown, so I specifically looked at the houses on the street. They all had driveways and off street parking, so I figured surely this wouldn't be an area where you need a permit to park. Why would you? Everyone who lives here has off street parking. I guess some places I didn't see didn't have it or they have lots of visitors or whatever, because I got a ticket! I don't have a huge problem with it, but I do think it should be clearly marked. I know someone who got towed in VaHi because she parked in a spot that on weekends is a taxi stand, but that fact was not clearly posted. So maybe Atlanta just needs to do a better job informing drivers what the rules are in specific areas.

I'm a big advocate of digitally controlled meters. Then there is never any confusion as to what to pay, when you paid, and you can contest any illegal ticket with a receipt.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
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Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
The problem is, free parking has become LESS available instead of more over the years.

I know that parking can't always be free in the city. But I think street parking on residential streets should be free. I'm willing to walk a few blocks to park on the street for free.

I had heard of the parking permits in midtown, so I specifically looked at the houses on the street. They all had driveways and off street parking, so I figured surely this wouldn't be an area where you need a permit to park. Why would you? Everyone who lives here has off street parking. I guess some places I didn't see didn't have it or they have lots of visitors or whatever, because I got a ticket! I don't have a huge problem with it, but I do think it should be clearly marked. I know someone who got towed in VaHi because she parked in a spot that on weekends is a taxi stand, but that fact was not clearly posted. So maybe Atlanta just needs to do a better job informing drivers what the rules are in specific areas.

I'm a big advocate of digitally controlled meters. Then there is never any confusion as to what to pay, when you paid, and you can contest any illegal ticket with a receipt.
I was thinking about this and trying to figure out how this fits into the bigger picture. I feel like this points to another bigger problem at hand.

While it might be harder to park there... there are more people and more people with more spending money moving to the area to sustain local businesses.

I went and visited a friend in Denver a while back. I was actually impressed with the city in some ways. It is much smaller than Atlanta, but what I liked about it is there were lots of small local neighborhood retail/minitowns throughout the city. Somewhat similar to Virginia Highlands area, but on a small scale and widely scattered about through town. They all had the typical local coffee shop, the neighborhood grill, the local put, maybe a second or third restaurant, and one or two boutiques of some type.

I feel like we don't have enough of these areas and the newer ones we have, even when built appropriately to interact with the neighborhood feel very strip-mallish/cookie cutter-ish.

The nice thing about Denver there were enough of these locals would have something they could walk to, but it was somewhat easy to find street parking. These small neighborhood nodes weren't overcrowded, because there seemed to be so many of them.

I often feel like ours are overcrowded, because they are few and far between -or- they are apart of a much larger area that attract more people and more types of businesses (ie downtown Decatur, midtown, etc...), even the Highlands seem a bit popular/crowded.

I feel like I'd like to see more neighborhood retail areas, but with less stuff as our existing ones have. The neighborhoods could handle the traffic/parking better, since it is more dispersed.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:58 PM
 
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I went and visited a friend in Denver a while back. I was actually impressed with the city in some ways. It is much smaller than Atlanta, but what I liked about it is there were lots of small local neighborhood retail/minitowns throughout the city.
Denver feels more dense to me. It's half again as populous as we are, and it benefits greatly from small block sizes throughout the city.

We have very limited areas with small blocks sizes. Traditionally, we've also been pretty rigid about using our zoning laws to keep retail areas separated from residential.

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Old 06-17-2012, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
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Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
Denver feels more dense to me. It's half again as populous as we are, and it benefits greatly from small block sizes throughout the city.

We have very limited areas with small blocks sizes. Traditionally, we've also been pretty rigid about using our zoning laws to keep retail areas separated from residential.
Denver density comparison to Atlanta is a hard one to peg to me. I don't know that it is necessarily more or less dense...overall... but..

It felt more -evenly- dense throughout the city. The neighborhood streets connected through better, which made it easier to walk to a neighborhood retail node for more people. Most of the neighborhoods were single family housing, with a few places near downtown and along a couple major routes that had denser multi family housing.

Our layout has areas that are probably far denser than what I saw first hand in Denver, but then we have sparsely populated streets surrounded by trees in other areas, which I didn't see much of in Denver at all. The single family housing density stayed uniform.

I didn't notice near as many denser multi-family housing buildings as Atlanta has outside of traditional apartment complexes.

We have more of those high and mid rise buildings (older and newer).

Of course this would make sense to what I was saying about how spread out the neighborhood retail nodes were.

I always wished suburban Atlanta could have a bigger push to make our disconnected suburban neighborhoods at least have walking/biking connections. The place I'm at in Lilburn is actually really close to a really popular park, but the current walking path for me to get there is 4 times what it would be if I could walk a direct there. What feels unwalkable now, would become somewhat walkable if I could walk directly through the neighborhoods around me, rather than walk to my neighborhood entrance along the street and then walk out of my way to get to a street that will go to the park.

This seems to be a pretty universal problem in alot of Atlanta... ITP and OTP.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,263 posts, read 16,304,895 times
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Then there's Perimeter center, which is a different ballgame. It now has a bit of an urban feel and has attracted Intermezzo, Local Luna, and other intown type restaurants. But it's still nice and safe and suburban at heart. I always think of it as the place for ex-sorority girls who want all the trendiness of midtown, but are too scared to actually venture down there on a Saturday night. Of course, it could also be that some people are just sick of the hassle of valets, cover charges, and long lines.
Great analogy. The whole sorority girl thing was so true when I lived at Gables, they'd go to Buckhead and Midtown but never live down there.
Quote:
Not to digress too much, but the lack of free parking is something that will continue to haunt intown Atlanta until we fix it.
Parking is what caused the lose of many historic Atlanta buildings. They were turned into surface parking lots. I completely disagree, make parking expensive to encourage more transit use.
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