By ERICA BALDWIN
ATLANTA – A great number of young Atlanta residents have raised concerns about the character of their neighborhood and rising cost of living with the recent construction of new luxury apartment units.
The current luxury-apartment boom has lead current residents of the Inman Park and surrounding neighborhoods to feel that the property values, historical appeal of their homes as well as their way of life threatened.
One Atlanta resident feels that the new luxury apartments are doing more harm than good for the city and its resident’s ability to live within a budget comfortably.
“I think it signifies change, which is not always good,” said Atlanta resident Giovanni Andres. “The change in the area is ultimately dissolving the middle class into the lower class. That is not good. I hope that the new complexes improve the economy, but for who? Not the lower class. The idea is flawed in my opinion and I am struggling from it. We’re looking at a radical change in our society, that’s what I see when I look at the apartment buildings.”
According to recent studies, the average rent of an Atlanta apartment has risen $316 over the past six months. One-bedroom units have shown an increase of $196 while two-bedroom units have raised by $427. This increase in price leads many to wonder when the supply and demand will level out economically.
Many young residents are finding it difficult to afford dwellings in safe neighborhoods due to the new developments, citing their construction as the reason for rising cost in preexisting homes and apartment complexes.
“I had to sleep on couches, floors and even lived at an Airbnb for a few weeks before I could find an opening in an affordable apartment complex.” said Inman Park Resident Scott Jenkins. “I think these new complexes are great for the community I just wish they had lower cost options for college students.”
In addition to the rise in prices, the residents of Atlanta feel the architecture of the new residences threaten the character and overall charm of the city.
“The new units are slowly robbing the community of its character,” said Old Fourth Ward resident Michael Williams. “I chose to live where I do because of the art and history surrounding me. To see that slowly fade away is upsetting to me, I’m definitely open to looking for other options.”
Although the historical character of the area may be declining, so are crime rates. Crime rates for Inman Park and surrounding neighborhoods show vastly lower crime rates than Atlanta as a whole.
“It’s not all bad,” said Williams. “I absolutely feel safer in my home now compared to when I first moved in, I don’t worry about walking around late at night or getting broken into nearly as much and that has made life a little easier.”