Midtown is the cool, trendy place to be. Aside from the booming commerce, you’ll see thousands of people living, dining and playing in one of Atlanta’s most walkable neighborhoods. Downtown Atlanta is a business, government and tourist center. With downtown’s urban attractions and hidden gems—it’s easy to stay busy all day.
If you’ve done any online research at all, you’ve probably read all sorts of nasty things about Downtown. But that’s stale, old news. Check out the dates on those articles, and you’ll see they’re often nearly ten years old. In the past ten years, Downtown Atlanta’s residential population has grown about 1.95% annually, so it’s not even the same place that it was one year ago.
We surveyed our team of Atlanta Locals to give you the updated scoop on Midtown vs Downtown Atlanta:
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Living in Midtown Atlanta
Midtown Atlanta is a cool, trendy place just north of Downtown. Its buildings are newer than Downtown’s, and population estimates hover around 17,000 (compared to Downtown’s 27,000). The midtown skyline views of downtown can’t be beat, either!
Midtown is rightly known for:
• Ultra-luxury high rise apartment buildings with incredible city skyline views.
• “The Heart of the Arts” including the High Museum, Fox Theatre, and Woodruff Center
• Urban green spaces such as Piedmont Park and the Beltline
• Hip restaurants, boutique shopping, and happening nightlife
• Ponce City Market
• Full bus and subway service
• A winning combo of neighborhood feel and convenient, walkable urban living
Midtown is growing quickly, with business and residential construction projects everywhere. Whether you’re moving to a new apartment or choosing a place for a dinner date, you can’t go wrong with Midtown.
Living in Downtown Atlanta
Downtown is still the place for business, government and tourist attractions. It’s home to the gold-domed State Capitol, along with city, county, and federal government facilities.
On the business end, there’s a plethora of big-name brands stationed here: Coca Cola, AmericasMart, and the Georgia World Congress Center, to name a few. Downtown is bustling with trade shows, conventions, and day-to-day business.
But we can’t forget the attractions. You could spend days touring and exploring:
• Georgia Aquarium
• CNN Center
• World of Coke
• College Football Hall of Fame
• Imagine It! Children’s Museum
• Centennial Olympic Park
• Mercedes Benz Stadium
• Phillips Arena
Changes in Downtown
But what about the atmosphere and quality of life?
Well, a lot is happening. Downtown is in the middle of a massive, planned revitalization and it’s changing the entire face of Downtown. Take Woodruff Park, for example—for years it was full of trash and waste and it wasn’t, frankly, a pleasant or safe place to be.
But in recent years the city has invested in numerous clean-ups, repairs, landscaping and a Sculptural Playground. You’ll see workers on lunch break, GSU students, and tourists enjoying the outdoor space. The park hosts festivals, events, and a weekly yoga class. It’s remarkable transformation is a metaphor for what’s happening all over Downtown.
Downtown Atlanta Revitalization
Here are some of the implemented and planned changes for Downtown:
Transportation: Downtown has always had MARTA access, but last-mile connectivity wasn’t necessarily there. The new Atlanta Streetcar runs on a 2.7-mile loop, connecting Centennial Olympic Park with the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site and nearby neighborhoods. You can also rent bikes or scooters along the road to speed up your walk.
Shopping and Restaurants: While you won’t see much new construction Downtown, there’s lots of adaptive reuse going on. For example, Peachtree Center’s plaza and three-story retail center are being rebranded as “The Hub.” The courtyard is being remade as a town square, and new dining and retail options are moving in.
Residential: Think Victorian townhomes, apartment skyrises, and trendy converted lofts. The Downtown neighborhoods are working to revitalize their options and create a community feel. If you’re looking to move into a luxury apartment, we’re here to help!
The Stitch: This may be Atlanta’s most ambitious project. It’s a planned ¾ mile platform over the massive I75-I85 highway connector that runs through downtown. The idea is to connect the neighborhood and “stitch” Downtown together. There are business, retail, residential, and green spaces planned for the 14-acre project.
There you have it, the updated 2020 scoop on Midtown vs Downtown Atlanta. This should be a big help in deciding where to live in Atlanta! An even bigger help would be using AptAmigo, an apartment locating service designed to pair you with your dream apartment!
Related: Moving from NYC to Atlanta
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