Atlanta and College Park: A Tale of Two Cities


In urban development, one thing must give for another to grow. The Atlanta area, in particular, knows this process all too well.Metro Atlanta in the last decade has experienced tremendous population and economic growth. It is a bustling metropolis, replete with gleaming skyscrapers, successful businesses and a creative workforce. As its prosperity grew, Atlanta purchased pieces of land in surrounding areas. Some of this land was purchased as a way to help less prosperous areas develop. Other pieces were purchased because owning them was in Atlanta’s best interest. And still others were purchased with both of these motivations in mind.College Park, a small city just south of Atlanta and home to Hatsfield-Jackson Airport, has benefited from Atlanta’s investments. It also, it claims, to be losing out on business development and economic strength. The Atlanta Journal Constitution recently ran an article that described the situation.College Park’s mayor, Jack Longino, traveled to Atlanta to voice his frustrations; he stood before the city council and delivered his message.”Atlanta has been buying land here since the 1970s. The majority of this land has gone undeveloped. No business development. No tax revenue. Just blight,” the mayor told Atlanta city officials during their city council meeting.But Atlanta is not admitting any wrongdoing, or that is trying to hinder College Park’s prosperity. It oversaw the construction of the airport, after all, which brings to College Park a significant amount of revenue and business opportunities. Without the airport, College Park would not have its sparkling Georgia International Convention Center, which is already booked this year for about 55 expos, proms and other events. College Park also has about three dozen hotels and motels and expects about $1 billion in new development, which includes five more hotels, during the next two years, city officials say.Both sides are calling for a more constructive dialogue, and they seem to recognize that doing business and investing is real estate development in mutually beneficial. But still, one has to wonder when a town is too small for independent plans. Like they say in Western movies, “This town isn’t big enough for the both of us.” With Atlanta and College Park, revenue and business development will ultimately settle the score.

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Michael Russell writes about a variety of subjects, including real estate, environmentalism, and modern architecture. This article discusses real estate in the Atlanta area. For more information on Atlanta apartments, visit ProMove.

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