Intown Atlanta Population Surge?

Jon Real Estate Leave a Comment

While I spent much of last week on the Decatur bandwagon, I should point out that Decatur’s schools aren’t the only ones that are busting at the seems.  Midtown Patch points out that Grady High School is also at the breaking point:

A drawback at Grady: The school that borders Piedmont Park currently has 1,524 students, compared to 1,432 one year ago — and one year ago was already seriously overcrowded. (The Grady campus was expanded several years ago to accommodate about 1,200 students. In 2005, there were 996 enrolled, compared to 1,146 in 2006 and 1,264 by 2009).

For those of you scoring at home, that’s a 25% increase in the last five years.  I’m not a demographer (nor do I play one on television), nor am I trend forecaster, but I’d imagine there are a few threads at play here:

  1. The neighborhoods served by the school, including Ansley Park, Candler Park, East Lake, Inman Park, Kirkwood, Lake Claire, Old Fourth WardMidtown, Morningside, Poncey Highland and Virginia Highland continue to experience infill development, albeit at a much slower clip now that we’re post-boom.
  2. A slumping economy and rising private school tuition have forced some parents to enroll their children in public schools rather then private ones.
  3. Negative home equity has, in effect, “”trapped”” many homeowners in their existing homes.  It’s a pretty common theme throughout the country to see homeowners “”sticking around”” in a home that they hadn’t planned on living in for such a long duration.  Put simply, our migration patterns are all gummed up.

The net-net is further evidence that Atlanta’s notorious sprawl has turned inward.  This isn’t breaking news by any stretch, but it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on as the region attempts to curb sprawl and promote density.  Exciting and terrifying at the same time depending on the vision and political will of Atlanta’s civic and business elite.

Photo Credit: Architecture Tourist (an outstanding piece on Grady High School’s architecture, I might add).

About the Author
author photo