Atlanta: Then & Now

Over the last four decades, Atlanta’s landscape has changed dramatically, from an increasingly dense skyline—40 years ago, skyscrapers were mostly concentrated in the downtown business district, while today, they make their presence known throughout the city—to a continuously growing geographical footprint. One longtime Atlantan who can attest to these changes is powerhouse real estate agent Glennis Beacham of Beacham & Company, Realtors, who has been selling real estate in the Metro area since 1982. “The Metro area has grown dramatically, with both population growth and land mass expansion leading to major development in the suburbs,” says Beacham, noting that now booming Forsyth County was not even considered part of the Metro area 40 years ago.

Within the city limits, Beacham says that neighborhoods such as Midtown, Virginia-Highland, Morningside, Buckhead and the West Side have likewise experienced tremendous growth over the past 40 years. “Those neighborhoods located within the city of Atlanta have become increasingly popular among younger buyers. They are, however, expensive and beyond the reach of many. Today, there are many more options with rentals both in apartment complexes and high-rises.”

While the proliferation of residential high-rises has been a significant development over the last few decades, so, too, is the more recent emergence of so-called live-work-play communities, according to Rick Hatch, principal at Harrison Design. “More attention is now given to holistic developments that offer residential, retail and entertainment within a walking environment,” says Hatch. “I think the frustration with lengthening the daily commute from 40 minutes or so to more than an hour each way spurred the rise in integrated work-living-entertainment-and-dining developments.”

By the Numbers

Located in the Old Fourth Ward, the recently rebranded Darwin Hotel has an interesting link to perhaps the biggest event in Atlanta’s history: the 1996 Summer Olympics. Originally built in 1993 to house Olympic construction workers before later being converted to an independent hotel, the property, which is now managed by Hospitality Ventures Management Group, was creatively updated by C+TC Design Studio last year.

Guest rooms

Square footage of
the largest rooms

Pieces of furniture
purchased for the hotel

Atlanta artists whose work
is permanently featured
in the hotel

Atlanta graffiti artist
featured in the hotel

Approximate current
valuation of the hotel