West End at­tracts mil­lenials

GA Voice - - Metro Atlanta Liv­ing -

West End is a name that, in the past, would put many home­buy­ers off be­cause of its past rep­u­ta­tion for crime, un­em­ploy­ment and plum­met­ing prop­erty val­ues. To­day, West End is en­joy­ing some of the fruit of the labors that com­mu­nity lead­ers have put into turn­ing the com­mu­nity around. Named 2015 Curbed Cup Neigh­bor­hood Cham­pion by Curbed Atlanta and “hottest neigh­bor­hood in Atlanta of 2016” by Redfin, his­toric West End is quickly be­com­ing one of Atlanta’s most sought-af­ter and de­sir­able neigh­bor­hoods for young pro­fes­sion­als as well as fam­i­lies.

What caused this turn­around? One of the fac­tors that seem to have brought this his­toric neigh­bor­hood into a full res­ur­rec­tion of its for­mer glory days is what has been do­ing the same to all parts of Atlanta that it touches – the Atlanta BeltLine.

The Atlanta BeltLine’s pur­pose is to gen­er­ate economic growth in the ar­eas that it runs through, en­cour­age en­vi­ron­men­tal re­spon­si­bil­ity (it will fea­ture elec­tric street­cars that will con­nect these neigh­bor­hoods) and im­prove the over­all health and qual­ity of life for res­i­dents.

The West­side Trail is a three-mile long com­bi­na­tion of multi-use trail and lin­ear greenspace, cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion. The seg­ment of trail is slated to be fin­ished in 2017 and will oc­cupy the old rail cor­ri­dor from Univer­sity Av­enue in Adair Park north to Lena Av­enue at Wash­ing­ton Park, di­rectly through West End.

West End also lends it­self to ex­clu­siv­ity by be­ing listed on the Na­tional Regis­ter of His­toric Places. Be­cause it needs to main­tain its his­tor­i­cal ap­pear­ance, no new con­struc­tion or al­ter­ing can be done with­out the per­mis­sion of the Atlanta Ur­ban De­sign Com­mis­sion. As a re­sult of these reg­u­la­tions, West End has main­tained the con­sis­tent look and feel of its early ori­gins (es­tab­lished in 1868) and or­nate Vic­to­ria charm.

Ja­son Turner, a 27-year-old buyer look­ing ex­clu­sively in West End, said that he and his boyfriend wanted to look in a place that wasn’t an al­ready es­tab­lished “gay­bor­hood” be­cause they didn’t want to iso­late them­selves.

“We un­der­stand that gay­bor­hoods had to ex­ist back in the day be­cause it made them (LGBT) feel safe to be sur­rounded by oth­ers who were like them. My boyfriend and I don’t strug­gle with ac­cep­tance from straight peo­ple the way that some older peo­ple have. We want to be in an area that has walk­a­bil­ity, af­ford­abil­ity, and re­cre­ation. Mil­len­ni­als here are very ac­cept­ing and we want to live among other young pro­fes­sion­als, gay or straight. Sex­u­al­ity just isn’t a pri­mary rea­son for us to choose a neigh­bor­hood to live in.”

For many buy­ers, the al­lure of West End is to be able to buy a beau­ti­ful, his­toric home at an af­ford­able price and be able to grow

By SHAN­NON HAMES, Real­tor®

into it if a fam­ily might be in their fu­ture.

“We may want to be fa­thers one day” said Ja­son. “West End has fam­ily-friendly ap­peal with­out be­ing gen­tri­fied. We want our fu­ture kids to grow up in a di­verse, cul­tur­ally and his­tor­i­cally rich area where they won’t feel alien­ated be­cause they have two dad­dies. West End is per­fect for that rea­son.”

April 15, 2016

Sky Lofts is one of sev­eral prop­er­ties in West End to pro­vide Mid­town ameni­ties at a frac­tion of the cost. (Photo by Dar­ian Aaron)

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