Atlanta’s Upper Westside: Vibrant, Urban and Opportunistic

by: Smith and Howard

August 20, 2018

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Major new developments are happening in the northwest corner of Atlanta, an area that has been rebranded as “Atlanta’s Upper Westside.” Over the course of two years, developers have announced more than $1 billion worth of new developments – attracting the attention of retailers and residents.

Where exactly is the Upper Westside?

Developers consider the boundaries for the Upper Westside to be very fluid. According to Malloy Peterson, Senior Vice President, Development, for Selig Enterprises Inc., the Upper Westside is bordered by Huff Road on the south; I-75 on the east; Marietta Road to the west; and Bolton/Moores Mill roads on the North. Atlanta’s Upper Westside Community Improvement District (CID) mapped out their interpretation of Atlanta’s Upper Westside which is similar to Peterson’s boundaries. In the 19th century the area was coined as an industrial hub and still carries that same aesthetic appeal today. “If I could use three words to describe the Upper Westside I would say, ‘gritty, memorable, train tracks,” said Elizabeth Hollister, Executive Director of the Upper Westside CID and Moderator for Bisnow’s Atlanta’s Upper Westside Boom! event on June 20.

Upper Westside Developments

Westside Village

Many renderings have been unveiled for this fast-evolving neighborhood. Projects making headlines include the Westside Village at Moores Mill, an Eden Rock development, and The Works, a Selig Enterprises Inc. development. Both developments (and others in the pipeline) are attracting residents, retailers and creative office space.

Westside Village at Moores Mill, slated to open first quarter of 2019, will include boutiques, restaurants and a yoga studio, among others. Nearby, more than 300 residences are planned for the area. According to Curbed Atlanta, Eden Rock developers describes this area as an industrial / post-industrial/ suddenly residential part of town that is considered a “retail starved” section of Atlanta.

The Works

Last year, Selig Enterprises Inc. started work on the first phase of The Works, a 1.5 million-square-foot adaptive re-use of old warehouses the company owns on 80 acres of land along Chattahoochee Avenue and Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard. According to Malloy Peterson, plans for the development call for 600,000 square feet of creative office space, 500,000 square feet of retail space, 500 residential units and 13 acres of green space.

From a residential perspective, developers are seeing single-family demand heat up with properties staying on the market only two to three weeks*. Seeing this uptick in residential demand, many developers are factoring in an affordable housing plan and a multi-family plan when it comes to current and future ventures.

On August 2, 2018, Jim Meyer of Atlantic Capital Properties and Mack Reese of Gateway Ventures announced the development of a Class A creative workspace known as 8West. 8West will be located at the corner of 8th Street and Howell Mill.  Meyer and Reese envision the creative space to attract technology and creative companies who will thrive in authentic, walkable and amenity-rich environments. This development is slated to open in the spring of 2020 and will include a 200,000-square foot office and retail component. Financing terms that do not require a pre-leasing agreement have been negotiated and construction is scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of this year (2018).

 The Demographic Attracted to the Upper Westside

The panelists for Bisnow’s Atlanta’s Upper Westside Boom! described the Upper Westside demographic as anyone who is trying to align and spend their day with personal priorities and individuals who don’t want to fight interstate traffic. Residents of the Upper Westside will have quick access to Midtown, Buckhead, and even Cobb County which is right past the Chattahoochee.

The ventures taking place in the Upper Westside are exciting to say the least. If your real estate group has any questions about developments, investments or acquisitions, please contact a member of Smith and Howard’s real estate team by calling 404-874-6244 or by completing the contact form below.

*This article was published in August 2018 was accounting for the real estate market at that specific time.

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