May 13, 2021 at 11:00am | Danesha Ritzberg


Atlanta’s suburbs are getting more urban. Metro residents crave proximity to walkable city centers and are flocking to reinvigorated, historic towns like Alpharetta and Hapeville—or newly invented places like Trilith and Serenbe. Here are 10 communities with newly vibrant downtowns.

Key attractions Upscale seafood house Lapeer and a downtown location of homegrown Jekyll Brewing draw crowds. A 9,000-square-foot, speakeasy-inspired entertainment hub called Roaring Social is expected to join the mix soon at the forthcoming Hamilton Hotel. Sections of the planned BeltLine-style Alpha Loop have begun to open, including a link from downtown to Avalon, located a mile east.

Housing types Options within a short walk of Alpharetta’s core are dominated by newer construction, be it modern-leaning townhouses or relatively dense single-family clusters.

Cost of living Searching for a low-cost suburban alternative? You might need to keep looking. One-bedroom rents at the aforementioned apartments, Amorance, clock in at $1,800 for about 700 square feet. Larger condos have fetched well over $800,000—and townhomes more than $1 million—in the past year.

Who lives here? Alpharetta’s been a particular hit lately with Gen Xers moving from larger, denser cities, often for jobs in the city’s blossoming tech sector. A recent survey showed just 2 percent of Alpharettans were born there.

You might be surprised Prior to the turn of the century when Alpharetta city leaders began assembling rundown buildings and parking lots to create a town center, no significant projects had been developed here for almost 30 years.

Charm-o-meter Rating 8. Hats off to architects and developers, led by Atlanta-based Morris & Fellows, for devising a ground-up new section of downtown that invites activity while feeling mostly organic.



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