By Kathy Dean
and Collin Kelley
Renting an apartment in Atlanta isn’t cheap, although compared with cities like New York and San Francisco, many consider rents here a bargain.
A new report from ApartmentList.com indicates that the median rent for a two bedroom in Atlanta is $1,680, while a one bedroom goes for $1,370. Midtown remains the most expensive neighborhood, with a two bedroom renting for $2,410 and a one bedroom for $1,540.
Rents are also up in Inman Park and Candler Park with two bedrooms costing $2,140. Rent prices are up 17 percent over the past year, the most year-over-year growth of any Atlanta neighborhood, according to ApartmentList.
In another hot Intown neighborhood, Old Fourth Ward, rents are running $1,930 for two bedrooms and $1,480 for one bedroom.
A hot job market, educational opportunities and Atlanta’s growing reputation as an “international city” are creating a demand for more apartments, but there is concern that too many “luxury” units are pushing those with lower incomes outside the city.
The Atlanta BeltLine, which has seen an amazing boom of new apartments along its Eastside Trail, said it would spend $11 million for affordable housing over the next three years.
In the meantime, apartments in sought after locations continue to sprout and command high-dollar rents. Of course, those who can afford to rent in the city are also looking for value-for-money. Location, amenities and modern appeal are all high on renters’ wish list.
All across the county, there is a strong trend toward urban living and all it has to offer, according to Jim Spahn of Daniel Corporation, the developer behind Sixty 11th building in Midtown.
“The first is the desire to experience urban living and the conveniences it offers. Sixty 11th offers that live-work-play environment that is so desirable today,” Spahn said. “Another is the employment growth in the area. About 60 percent of our residents come from outside the area and are relocating to metro Atlanta because of their jobs.”
Each apartment home at Sixty 11th includes a list of luxury features, such as panoramic views, nine-foot high ceilings and designer style fixtures, along with quartz countertops in the kitchens and baths, Energy Star stainless-steel appliances and USB charging outlets.
Amenities are plentiful, too, with a clubroom, game room and fitness center. There’s also a deck with a saltwater pool with tanning ledges, a waterfall, lush landscaping, outdoor fireplaces, multiple grilling stations and outdoor dining areas.
“The renters that we see are looking for an amenity-rich living environment, and they want a sense of community,” Spahn reported. “We have all that plus walkability. Sixty 11th is in the middle of absolutely everything. Museums, great eats and culture.”
Located near Peachtree Street in Midtown, Sixty 11th offers access to culture, food and retail. The Woodruff Arts Center, High Museum and Piedmont Park are all a short walk away.
Another hot new property is 675 N. Highland in the heart of Ponce-Highland, which touts its condo-stylings. “The concept of condo living with the flexibility of a lease term is highly appealing to renters today, especially in the Atlanta market,” explained Joe Laster, Owner of Abraham Properties, which developed 675 N. Highland.
He noted that the apartment community offers great walkability to the Atlanta BeltLine, local markets, public green space, chef-driven restaurants and more. Virginia-Highland, Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park and Ponce City Market are all nearby, only adding to the benefits of living in one of Atlanta’s more exclusive and eclectic neighborhoods.
The location is a major factor drawing renters from all walks of life, Laster said. “Our current resident profile is not exclusive to a particular age group or marital status, as a number of varying generations are becoming more and more attracted to urban apartment living.”
675 N. Highland has impressive views of the city from many of its homes, the building is pet-friendly and there reserveable electrical-vehicle charging stations available inside the gated garage. 675 N. Highland apartments feature wide-plank flooring, 10-foot plus ceiling heights, enhanced sound mitigation between the homes and Gigabit high-speed fiber service direct to each apartment. Kitchens are complete with quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, gas ranges and islands.
The homes at 841 Memorial, located on Memorial Drive in Reynoldstown next door to the mixed-used Atlanta Dairies project, offer spacious units with floor-to-ceiling windows and sleek, modern finishes, like stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and dark hardwood style flooring. Amenities include a rooftop patio, vegetable and herb garden, state-of-the-art fitness center and clubhouse with shuffleboard.
Susana Barnwell, Property Manager at 841 Memorial, said that renters enjoy the central location and walkability. “The close proximity of the BeltLine and the walkable neighborhood, as well as the wide variety of amazing restaurants and bars in the area, draw many potential renters to us,” she added. “Residents love that they can bike everywhere and that we’re close to historical sites, such as Oakland Cemetery. We also offer an incredible view of the Atlanta skyline from our rooftop patio.”
The property, composed of 80 units, is a smaller community and has a real sense of family, according to Barnwell. Like many of the area businesses and restaurants, 841 Memorial is locally owned and managed.
“Our renters mirror the community of Reynoldstown,” she said. “They’re pioneers – lively, cutting edge, energetic people. I live in the area and I’m excited to see Reynoldstown grow and be a part of this project.”