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Atlanta Community Information for Investors

When it comes to choosing a rental property, you want your money where the economy is strong and creating new jobs.  Your investment will do well when it is situated in a tight rental market allowing you to keep rent high and keep the property occupied. Commutes are long, adding hours to an already long day, which is why most people prefer to live near their jobs if at all possible. So being aware of local communities is key to picking the right investment property. 

We've put together a snapshot of Atlanta areas and incoming businesses to assist you in making the right decisions for your investment dollars.  

DOWNTOWN ATLANTA (FULTON COUNTY)

Atlanta's economy is strong, with sixteen metro companies currently residing on the Fortune 500 list and another ten on the Fortune 1000 list with combined revenue of $415 billion. Those numbers are set to change as Suntrust Bank is merging and will be moving to Charlotte, N.C. and First Data of Sandy Springs will be moving to Milwaukee to become Fiserv.  But the news is not all bad as both companies plan to keep a large number of positions in metro Atlanta and another giant on the 500 list will soon be joining us. (See Norfolk Southern on the below list of new business opportunities). In addition, 57 companies opened their doors in Metro Atlanta during 2018 alone.

According to Zillow, inner Atlanta's median home value is currently $257,700, an increase of 6.6% in the past year with an expected increase of 1.4% in the next year.  Median rent is $1850. Current listings average $330,000 but there are still pockets in Atlanta where the property can be snapped up at a reasonable cost, mainly in the 30318 and 30321 zip codes.

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Incoming or expanding businesses:

  • Norfolk Southern, a Fortune 500 company is relocating its corporate headquarters to Atlanta bringing approximately 850 jobs. Ground broke in March 2019 in Midtown for their new complex, expected to be completed by late 2021.
  • Starbucks Corporation is creating a new east coast satellite office in Fulton County that is expected to create up to 500 jobs.
  • BlackRock, an elite global financial firm, is building a new tech innovation center and planning to add 1,000 career opportunities over the next few years.
  • Floor & Decor is expanding and relocating its headquarters and expects to create 500 jobs in the next few years.
  • Pandora plans to create 250 jobs over the next three years.
  • College Park is developing a 320-acre project to be called "Airport City" and will include 10 million square feet of office, residential and retail space. 

Alpharetta

Also in Fulton County, Alpharetta is north of Atlanta, but bears mentioning separately. Money Magazine named Alpharetta the "Number One Place to Live in Georgia" and Southern Living proclaimed it among its 2018 Best Southern Cities in which to live. Fast becoming the "Technology Center of the South" Alpharetta is home to more than 700 Technology Companies and continues to bring in business at a dizzying pace. It also provides bonuses for companies who hire residents.  All of this makes Alpharetta a great place to invest.

Home prices are high in Alpharetta , with the median cost $410,000. But bargains can still be made. With the average apartment rent price at $1,450 a month, and the average home rental at $1,950 per month, the investment may well be worth the price. And with the following influx of jobs, the housing market is set to tighten even further. 

Incoming or expanding businesses:

  • Flexential Data Center is adding an additional 70,000 square feet to their existing Alpharetta location, bringing its total size to 142,000 square feet. It offers hybrid IT and data center solutions.
  • Northpoint Commercial Finance will be relocating to Sanctuary Park for a major expansion.
  • Jackson Healthcare continues to grow and has recently added a 267,000 square foot office tower and a 39,000 square foot amenities center.
  • Jinya Ramen Bar,  a Los Angeles based  ramen eatery is opening in late August to early September in the Alpharetta City Center in a 3,400 square foot space with separate bar and dining room.
  • Carson Kitchen, an award winning Los Angeles restaurant, will be opening soon in the Alpharetta City Center.
  • Bitpay, located in Alpharetta, will soon begin handling AT&T's global bitcoin payment processing.
  • Clorox is moving from Brookside Parkway to Sanctuary Park to create space for an expansion expected to add several hundred jobs.
  • Veeam Software has expanded at the NorthWinds Office Park
  • ZKTeco is relocating their US headquarters to Alpharetta, creating 40 new jobs in the field of biometric technology solutions.
  • In addition, Alpharetta has four private companies that have reached a 50% growth in two years:  Pye-Barker Fire & Safety, Cybriant, Booster Enterprises Inc., and Applied Resource Group.

SANDY SPRINGS

Another Fulton County city worth mentioning , Sandy Springs, is home to three hospitals: Northside, St. Joseph's and Children's Healthcare. It also houses the headquarters of a variety of industries, including telecommunications, financial transaction processing, computer related services and package delivery. Offering an Economic Incentive Program, Sandy Springs actively encourages new business and the growth of existing businesses.  The incentive program requires its participants to set wages to the city's average wage level or higher (currently at $15.38). 

Sandy Springs boasts a median home value of $482,000 with rents averaging $2,195. Median household income is $70,920.

Incoming or expanding businesses:

  • Mercedes Benz opened its new permanent home in Sandy Springs in 2018 and plans to eventually provide 1,000 corporate jobs.
  • IBM Corp employs 3,152 employees.
  • Cox Communications has 2,563 positions.
  • United Parcel Services employs 2,072 people.
  • Cisco Systems has 1,148 employees.
  • Manheim Auctions holds 1,136 positions.
  • VMware Inc. offers 1,100 jobs.
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COBB COUNTY

Cobb County continues to grow due to its easy access to markets, low cost of business, quality of life and skilled workforce. In addition, it is now the home of Suntrust Park, the new home of the Atlanta Braves. Median apartment rents vary from $1,600 in Kennesaw and $1,428 in Vinings, to Mableton where an apartment can be had for $1,041. Homes in Kennesaw average $239,800 and are expected to rise another 2.8% in the next year. But with median Kennesaw rent at $1,600, the investment is solid. Mableton is more affordable at $191,200 with a median rent at $1,587, and Austell recent sales averaged $163,900 with a median 3 bedroom rental cost of $1,330.

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Incoming or expanding businesses:

  • BioIQ is creating 500 jobs for its health IT company in the Marietta area.
  • WellStar Kennestone recently opened a new cancer center in Marietta.
  • Lidl Grocery Store, a German-based grocery chain has two stores being constructed and is expected to open in 2020, bringing jobs into the area.
  • eVestment has grown 45% in the last three years.
  • Labtech Diagnostics's new Marietta facility has jobs available.
  • HomElectrical is located in Kennesaw.
  • Efreightsolutions is also located in Kennesaw.

gwinnett county

The second largest community in Georgia is expecting to grow to over one million residents in the next decade and currently houses 600 international companies, adding 1200 jobs in the first part of 2018. The Peachtree Corners/Norcross area has the third largest cluster of jobs in the state and the seventh-largest can be found next door in the Sugarloaf/Duluth area. With three Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the county, another 50 have a presence in the area.

Gwinnett County's median home value is $232,800 and expected to rise another 2.2% in the upcoming year. The median rent price is $1,614. Outlying communities tend to have higher home values, with Berkeley Lake at the top followed by Suwanee and Dacula. Lawrenceville and Snellville show the lower values at $187,200 and $174,400 respectively.

Dekalb County

DeKalb County spreads from just outside downtown Atlanta to Gwinnett and Rockdale Counties. Traversed by I-285, I-675, I-85 to the north and I-75 to the south, DeKalb is centrally located to reach anywhere on the east side of Atlanta. Median home values in DeKalb are at $202,400 and expected to rise another 3.0% in the next year. Rent has steadily increased in this area and is now averaging $1,450. 

Druid Hills is an established neighborhood off I-85 and commands the highest prices in the county with a median cost of $583,500 and rental charge of $1,720, followed by City of Decatur at $472,300. The lower end of the market is in the south part of the county, particularly Candler-Macfee at $103,800 and Belvedere Park at $113,900. Average rent for both areas is $1,250.  

While only two business of note have predicted or shown recent growth, (shown below), this area is home to Emory University, Emory Hospital and CDC.

  • Xorbia Tickets offers on line tools for print at home event tickets. Located in Decatur, it has seen 196% growth in the past three years.
  • RCD-Atlanta, a real estate development company, employs 35 people and has a three year growth of 102%.

Cartersville

While out of the Metro Atlanta area, Cartersville is worth a mention. This Bartow County seat, is 42 miles north of Atlanta off I-75 and enjoys the majestic beauty of Lake Allatoona and Red Top Mountain, making it an ideal weekend getaway spot for Atlanta residents.  It has not experienced the growth of other areas at only 2.9% in the past year. But that is about to change. The US expects an average growth of 33.5% over the next ten years. Cartersville is projected to surpass that at 45.9% and is noted as a hot market by Zillow. Home values are currently averaged at $172,300 while the rental median is $1,556.  The median household income is $46,909 compared to the US average of $53,482. 

Cartersville has an extensive infrastructure geared toward business and is home to 166 industries including Anheuser-Busch, Georgia Power, Komatsu and Shaw Industries. With Cartersville Medical Center and The Hope Center, Cartersville provides healthcare for the surrounding communities.