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Old 10-04-2012, 05:06 PM
 
31 posts, read 55,213 times
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We will be selling our house in New Jersey this Spring and relocating to GA. in that my job is transferring down there. We were in GA on a "research vacation" and drive through a number of areas. The ones we like were Roswell and Norcross (Peachtree Corners). However, we heard some nice things about Smyrna. We are also looking to stay close to Atlanta and Alpharetta.

Can anyone tell us:

1. How different is Smyrna from Roswell and Norcross?
2. Does Smyrna have a nice downtown section?
3. Is Smyrna and up and coming area?
4. Is there any flooding in Smyrna?
5. What is traffic like in Smyrna?
6. What are the pros and cons of Smyrna?
7. Is housing expensive in Smyrna?
8. Is Smyrna flat, wooded, old or mostly new homes?

Any other info. that anyone can share about Smyrna would be appreciated.

Thank you.
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,319 posts, read 21,889,791 times
Reputation: 3848
Quote:
Originally Posted by PAV85 View Post
We will be selling our house in New Jersey this Spring and relocating to GA. in that my job is transferring down there. We were in GA on a "research vacation" and drive through a number of areas. The ones we like were Roswell and Norcross (Peachtree Corners). However, we heard some nice things about Smyrna. We are also looking to stay close to Atlanta and Alpharetta.

Can anyone tell us:

1. How different is Smyrna from Roswell and Norcross?
2. Does Smyrna have a nice downtown section?
3. Is Smyrna and up and coming area?
4. Is there any flooding in Smyrna?
5. What is traffic like in Smyrna?
6. What are the pros and cons of Smyrna?
7. Is housing expensive in Smyrna?
8. Is Smyrna flat, wooded, old or mostly new homes?

Any other info. that anyone can share about Smyrna would be appreciated.

Thank you.
Smyrna varies considerably from the poorer area in the northern part of the city to the wealthier areas in the southern part, so answers to your questions may depend in part on which area of the City of Smyrna (and adjacent areas) that's being discussed.

I've lived in Smyrna itself for maybe 10 months, and then just south of the Smyrna border in Mableton for a little over seven years, so I've interacted with southern Smyrna for just over eight years now.

My answers:

1. How different is Smyrna from Roswell and Norcross?

I don't know. Smyrna/Mableton is the only area of the Atlanta metro I know well as a resident.

2. Does Smyrna have a nice downtown section?

The old Smyrna downtown area is gone. The City has built a Market Village to act as a focal point and a social center of sorts, but it's not really a main street as such.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Smyrn...15000&t=h&z=19

3. Is Smyrna and up and coming area?

Yes and no. Northern Smyrna has been fairly static, and the closer you get to the Air Reserve Base the more of that you'll see. However, parts of southern and central Smyrna have seen a lot of development over the past 5-7 years, b ut like the rest of the Atlanta metro, most construction was stopped when the bottom dropped out of the housing market a few years ago. Building commenced again maybe 18 months ago in my local area, which is the very southern part of the city.

4. Is there any flooding in Smyrna?

Flooding in Smyrna is largely limited to low-lying areas, and it really isn't that close to the Chattahoochee River or to some of the larger creeks. When Cobb County was hammered in Sep 2009 by floods, the areas in the county which flooded were mainly all around Smyrna (Vinings by the river was flooded, and the City of Austell 10 miles west was hit very hard), but Smyrna itself did fairly well.

5. What is traffic like in Smyrna?

Traffic isn't that bad locally ... some of the main local roads (Atlanta Road, East/West Connecter) can be busy, and US Hwy 41 (aka Cobb Parkway) can be horrid at rush hour, but most issues are getting into or out of the area. Interstates in Atlanta tend to be focal points for traffic, and often there isn't a convenient alternative route.

6. What are the pros and cons of Smyrna?

Smyrna has been seen as a blue collar town and doesn't have a "good" reputation for some people in the metro area, but it has never really been a "bad" area, either. Some of the grade schools are very good, but the middle schools and high school are good but not great. It's very close to the City of Atlanta and has good back door access to downtown, it is also close to some nice business districts (Vinings, Cumberland), and travel to/from the airport isn't too bad, but travel to/from the Perimeter area or the far northeast corner is a hassle especially during rush hour.

7. Is housing expensive in Smyrna?

Housing is all over the map. You can find a few million-dollar homes in Smyrna, and you can find a few older brick homes scattered around the city for $100k or less (some on fairly nice wooded lots). Most of the housing is in between those price points, and southern Smyrna has a lot of newer subdivisions in the 300k-700k range. There are also some very nice mixed-use communities like One Ivy Walk and West Village that are located just on the outskirts of Smyrna in unincorporated Cobb County.

8. Is Smyrna flat, wooded, old or mostly new homes?

Yes. Cobb County is fairly flat for the most part, but Kennesaw Mountain is in the middle with the associated Civil Wary battlefield and park, and the eastern and southern edges of the county are wooded with lots of valleys formed by creeks running down to the Chattahoochee. The southern part of the city is on a series of ridges. The homes are a mix ... not a lot of turn of the century homes like you would find in Marietta just to the north, but there are a lot of homes from the 50's through modern day construction. Not sure how old some of the houses I've seen are, to be honest.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Smyrn...,+Georgia&z=12
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:42 AM
 
2,325 posts, read 3,548,096 times
Reputation: 1467
Roswell, Norcross and Smyrna are definitely not near each other. Unless you are working from home, you can quickly eliminate 2 of the three based on where your job is located.

I have been in Smyrna/Vinings for 25+ years and think it is a great place to live. It is a great location if you want to be near Atlanta and all that the intown neighborhoods have to offer. It is not close to Alpharetta. My mom is in Alpharetta so I am typically there every Sunday. That is an easy 1/2 drive but I avoid it midweek where I can easily get stuck in 1 1/2 hour traffic.

You did not mention your housing budget or if you had school age children? As for your specific questions:

1. How different is Smyrna from Roswell and Norcross? Roswell is definitely more upscale as to restaurants and shopping and the average income and home price is also higher.

2. Does Smyrna have a nice downtown section? Smyrna does not have the quante historic downtown areas of Roswell and Norcross. The Market Village is a wonderful city center with city service, parks and shopping. Many city sponsored activities are held in this area. You can also live in the area as it was designed as a live/work community.

3. Is Smyrna and up and coming area? I would say so. When I first moved to this area, it was very utilitarian. Big box stores, chain restaurants etc. You would drive into Atlanta for any nightlife or activities. There are now wonderful local restaurants/bars and boutiques. There are lots of acitivites in the area including the Silver Comet Trail, City sponsored concerts, Food Truck Tuesday etc.

4. Is there any flooding in Smyrna? There is some level of flooding in all of Atlanta but Smyrna is not typically in the flood plain.

5. What is traffic like in Smyrna? Overall traffic is not bad in Smyrna. 2 miles of Cobb Parkway is considered Smyrna and that can be a nightmare but that literally is the far east boundary of the city. Windy Hill can also get backed up but my recommendation would be to live south of that area as well. I live close to Home Depot offices and traffic does back up around there (but still managable). We also have an interchange on Atlanta I-285 that is a trouble area. Improvements for this area are underway with construction to start soon with completion in 2015 so that may get worse while it is being made better.

6. What are the pros and cons of Smyrna? Smyrna is a great location and the size is such that you can feel engaged in the community and with your councel representatives. There is still a great deal of redevelopment needed, much of this was slowed down with the recession. There has been an apartment moritorium for many years but in certerain areas we still have far too many class C with transient residents

7. Is housing expensive in Smyrna? Relative to other areas of Atlanta, Smyrna is reasonable. That has alot to do with the fact that the schools are good not great. Housing prices in Atlanta definitely are higher the better the schools. Many residents in this area go to private as two of the top tier private schools are within 5 miles.

8. Is Smyrna flat, wooded, old or mostly new homes? Smyrna has a great deal of new homes but there is still a huge supply of 1960/70 era homes with carports. There is also a good supply of townhomes both new and older dating back to 1980's
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Smryna
69 posts, read 147,568 times
Reputation: 84
I'd concur with lorilove's statements, I've been here since 1977. Great place to live, work and raise a family. Lowest millage rates, best bang for the buck government service wise, and lowest crime per capita than other metro counties.

One thing though, this area is hardly flat! Cobb county has very unique terrain features, lots of hills and valleys. The Cumberland Ridge is one area the runs through Smyrna and Vinings (even Vinings has a large ridge that some call Vinings Mountain). My subdivision is a maze of steep hills. It's a great way to burn calories but on those rare occasions where we have ice storms, it can become a problem. But that only happens once very what, 10 years?

It does cause some problems for cellular providers to get good in building coverage in subdivisions, that and the immense tree cover, but aside from poor cellphone reception (also depends on your carrier, Verizon and Sprint seem to have more closely spaced sites in residential areas here), the beauty of the area are the trees and hills. Lower cooling costs in summer, less traffic noise, and picture perfect subdivisions.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:47 AM
 
14,375 posts, read 7,085,168 times
Reputation: 7421
I lived in Smyrna for 2 years and in Mableton as well for 3 years and I loved Smyrna. I agree with all the comments above. Smyrna is actually my favorite "suburban" city. I also lived in Roswell, but for me I like to be close to wherever I work and Roswell was a little bit further out at the time so I only lived there a short while.

I also agree with the poor cellphone coverage in certain areas in Smyrna. We had a friend who lived off Windy Hill and I would always get dropped calls at their house. I think it was because they weren't far from the military bases but I may be wrong about that.

I used to love the parks there and the activities for kids. And like the PPs mentioned there are varying areas of wealth in regards to homes and different neighborhoods there, which I liked as well as it is more of a city than a suburb filled with subdivisions. I like neighborhoods and there were a lot of nice housing stock for me even though we were a young family renting back then.

We moved from Smyrna to where we live now though due to traffic. My husband had a horrible commute into the city and we both felt that the time in the car and using transit was too much, as we tried to use CCT to connect to MARTA to see if that would save significant time, it really didn't since CCT is so slow and the bus, of course, would get stuck in the major bottle necks of Cobb County. So we moved to be closer to employment and to not have to spend 45-60 minutes in the car one way. For some that is a short commute, but we don't like driving that much.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Smryna
69 posts, read 147,568 times
Reputation: 84
WH Road has no cell sites on it, most of the sites are on Spring Road or off Atlanta Rd, the terrain and tree cover has more to do with it than the bases. There is a Sprint Sites USA monopole at the end of Dobbins ARB on Atlanta Rd near Taylor Dr. with most carriers co-locating on it, but it's sectors shoot directly into the side of Windy Hill Rd. Atlanta is a difficult market for cellphone companies to get in building coverage. Cobb county especially. The PCS/AWS carriers have it tougher as the higher frequency signal doesn't play well with building materials as the lower 800MHz bands. When Sprint and T-Mobile (back then Powertel) first came here they learned real quick 5 mile site spacing works great in places like NYC with tall buildings and flat terrain but doesn't cut it here. Sprint had to add 3 fill-in sites to my area just to get the same coverage Verizon and at&t have with 1 site. The advantage to this (aside from a strong signal in my house) is less congestion, more sites=more sectors active=more calls=faster data.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:20 AM
 
7,687 posts, read 9,527,345 times
Reputation: 5657
You've gotten some great answers here. I would just like to address one that I have an opinion on:

Quote:
3. Is Smyrna and up and coming area?
I would say no. Like a lot of areas in the metro, Smyrna has been hyped as "up and coming" for probably close to 15 years now. The thing is, it hasn't up and come yet, so it either isn't up an coming or is doing so very slowly. I drove through Smyrna a few months ago and was very surprised to see that it looked exactly as it did in 1996 (which was probably exactly how it lookedi n 1980, but I don't know for sure).

I was later told that I didn't go through the "right" parts of Smyrna, which may be true. I'm not an expert, but I will say this. If you drive around Smyrna and think it's okay but you are going to buy there hoping it changes and comes up in the next few years, I think you'd really be rolling the dice. Probably it's not going to actually go downhill, but if you are expecting it to be the next Brookhaven or Decatur within the next 15, 20, or even 30 years, you're probably going to be disappointed.

Smyrna is divisive. Some people love it, others hate it. The best bet is to drive around and see what you think. If you love it, then great, go ahead and move there. But if you don't, you'd be running a great risk hoping that it changes into something that it's not anytime soon.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,319 posts, read 21,889,791 times
Reputation: 3848
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
I would say no. Like a lot of areas in the metro, Smyrna has been hyped as "up and coming" for probably close to 15 years now. The thing is, it hasn't up and come yet, so it either isn't up an coming or is doing so very slowly. I drove through Smyrna a few months ago and was very surprised to see that it looked exactly as it did in 1996 (which was probably exactly how it lookedi n 1980, but I don't know for sure).

I was later told that I didn't go through the "right" parts of Smyrna, which may be true. I'm not an expert, but I will say this. If you drive around Smyrna and think it's okay but you are going to buy there hoping it changes and comes up in the next few years, I think you'd really be rolling the dice. Probably it's not going to actually go downhill, but if you are expecting it to be the next Brookhaven or Decatur within the next 15, 20, or even 30 years, you're probably going to be disappointed.
Yes, I think I remember your assessment before, and I think I responded at that point in time by saying:

(1) you basically drove through the northern and central parts of Smyrna which have been relatively static (except for some new development along Concord Road and along King Springs), and

(2) most of the development in Smyrna has actually occurred south of Paces Ferry Road along Atlanta Road, Cooper Lake Road, and the E/W Connector, and if I recall Paces Ferry was the point at which you stopped looking further south. In other words, your assessment was accurate for the areas you saw, but not for Smyrna as a whole. The further south you go, the more money you encounter, and you ended up dodging most of the new subdivisions, since many of the older and undeveloped areas were all in the southern third of the city. Not anymore.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:02 PM
 
7,687 posts, read 9,527,345 times
Reputation: 5657
Yes, you might have a good point.

I'm not trying to spread Smyrna hate, it's really a personal taste.
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,319 posts, read 21,889,791 times
Reputation: 3848
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
Yes, you might have a good point.

I'm not trying to spread Smyrna hate, it's really a personal taste.
I just think it's a shame that you didn't see everything, and yet you feel you can comment on the area.

In my opinion, you (unintentionally) did the equivalent of driving into Atlanta from the south, stopping at I-20, and then saying Atlanta didn't have any skyscrapers because you didn't drive by any.

Here are some of the nicer newer areas you missed (just stuff along Atlanta Road and Cooper Lake that I drive by every day on my way to/from work).

One Ivy Walk at Atlanta Rd and Cumberland Parkway (mixed use gated community)

Google Maps

Cash Farms (Cooper Lake Road north of E/W Connector)

Google Maps

Manor at Vinings (Cooper Lake Rd south of E/W Connector ... small neighborhood, but neat stone homes by AFH)

Google Maps

Vinings Estates (Cooper Lake Road south of E/W Connector)

Google Maps
Google Maps

Not sure of the name of this one. Laurel something? Cooper Lake Road north of E/W Connector.

Google Maps

The Gates at Vinings (gated subdivision) . Cooper Lake Drive north of South Cobb Drive

Google Maps

Don't know the name of this place, either. :-) Just west of Atlanta Road.

Google Maps

Cute little enclave not far from where we used to rent a house (they didn't exist in 2004). Corner of Atlanta Road and Cooper Lake Drive.

Google Maps

The huge West Village complex (mixed use with some very good restaurants) near Atlanta Road and 285.

Google Maps

etc.

I'd say 50% of the area south of Paces Ferry is different now from when we initially moved to Smyrna in 2004. All new subdivisions, and some nice select houses with a good view of the skyline just off Atlanta Road and Cumberland Parkway. The roads along Oakdale to the south may have a better view (along the old River Line), but that area isn't Smyrna or directly bordering Smyrna. It's unincorporated area.

Last edited by rcsteiner; 10-05-2012 at 03:26 PM..
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