Steve Labovitz talks to members of the Buckhead Business Association on July 30, 2015.
Steve Labovitz talks to members of the Buckhead Business Association on July 30, 2015.

The next wave of development in metro Atlanta will probably hit the city’s west side and areas of south Fulton and DeKalb counties, a former high-ranking city official and development lawyer predicts.

Steve Labovitz, a partner with the Dentons law firm and former chief of staff of the city of Atlanta, told members of the Buckhead Business Association on July 30 that he foresees new development around the Atlanta Falcons’ new stadium in Atlanta, around a proposed soccer complex in DeKalb County and in south Fulton County.

“I think south is the opportunity. I do,” Labovitz told the 30 or so people attending the BBA breakfast meeting.

He said traffic problems on the north side of the metro area make it less desirable for some new developments.

“You know they can’t go north because of congestion. You know they’ve got to go south,” Labovitz said.

He said the new Falcons stadium “is going to be world-class” and argued it will attract new investment in surrounding neighborhoods in a way the Georgia Dome did not. The existing stadium was cut off from nearby neighborhoods, he said, but the new one “is going to have connectivity” to communities that need new development.

“There’s going to be a lot of money invested in this area,” he said.

If approved, a project to locate corporate offices and training facilities for Atlanta’s new professional soccer team on Memorial Drive “could be an incredible spur to development in DeKalb County,” he said, “and, gosh, DeKalb needs it.”

The south Fulton County area he identified for future growth is the corridor connecting Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with the Serenbe community or with proposed developments in Douglas County. “Clearly, the southern part of Fulton County is one area where land prices are better, traffic is not really as bad and it’s close to the airport,” he said.

Porsche Cars North American decision to build its new headquarters and a test track near Hartsfield-Jackson showed the area was drawing attention, he said. “I think that’s just the start,” he said.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.