West Side of Atlanta: Opportunity or Pipe Dream?

12 Replies

As many are aware, the westside of Atlanta is going through a lot. 

From atrocious properties that are currently there, to random tear down and rebuilds being sold in the Mid 200s, to non-existent nearby businesses/economy, to a Multi-Million dollar state initiative in the reservoir. 

So my question I have, being newer to the city (8 months) is:

1. Is this the writing on the wall for getting in while the getting is good?

2. Who is currently making moves there? 

3. What are your opinions on the history of the areas associated? (Grove Park, Pittsburgh, Mechanicsville, Dixie Hills etc)

4. What happened to the area in the past for it to be such a ghost town in current day and how long has it been in this shape? 


There is a lot of interesting stuff going on in the city right now, and in my opinion, the phenomena of what we're witnessing in the Westside is by far the most interesting. 

I feel like out of all things, that area has the potential to be an investors paradise, or the biggest wolf ticket one can buy. 

I just want to start a discussion and have open dialogue about everything Westside. 

Hey there Evan.  So, I'll throw out my $.02 for what I can give any assistance on.

1. The time has definitely come and gone to get 2011/2012 prices, but I do believe there is a solid belief that the SW Atlanta beltline project (supposed to be the first quandrant to get transit) will help.  I wrote a post that is a little more involved that you can reference some of, at least my thoughts on the area since we work there so heavily.   CLICK HERE TO GO TO THAT POST

2. There are so many making moves over there; hence, why the prices have gone up so steadily.  It almost seems like everyone is trying to get a piece of that pie and now it's the folks either just catching up to this or wanting to make safer bet than 6-7 years ago when it was almost like an enigma! 

3. I wasn't born here nor will act like I was.  I've only been here since Feb of 2011 so I can't give you proper answer on it's history, but I have read various articles via Wikipedia, etc.

4. Someone else can better speak on this, but there are parts of the Westside that used to be the happening spots back in the 50s or sooner where some of the most affluent, influential leaders of the African American community used to live, but over the years for whatever reason has changed.  There are a lot of the Westside that were primarily Industrial and a lot of those neighborhoods went away or changed demographics as those companies closed.  Due to the location and the costs -- many people are seeing the value now and are jumping in.

They are saying we should have a population of over 10M by 2030 or 2040, I forget which one.  I'm from Houston which is a much larger city that has 3 perimeters now.  So, looking at how our city is built (obviously horrible infrastructure for traffic; hopefully, the beltline will help) relatively the location is just too hard to pass up!  

I hope some of this helps!

To shed a little more light on #4, Atlanta's Westside was one of the hardest hit areas in the country by the foreclosure crisis 10 years ago. A lot of the original, African American population left, and the area still hasn't recovered. A lot, or maybe even all of the increase in prices has come from speculation, rather than an increased demand, but I believe that is changing. The Beltline, Quarry Yards project, proximity to Marta and Downtown are all going to be big drivers, as well as increasing in-migration of young people from around the country looking for affordability, access to transit, and an urban lifestyle.

As a born-and-raised Atlantan, I'm long on the area and my investments demonstrate this. I just think expectations should be real - Grove Park is not going to be Morningside in 20 years. It may not ever be. But I think changing demand patterns from young buyers and renters have the potential to turn these areas into very vibrant and valuable communities - like they historically were.

I agree with mostly what has been said, but i would say that values on the westside is not just speculation. It's not like one is expecting or waiting for a miracle. Actual development is ongoing and there continues to be job and population growth. Retail buyers have been moving in and tenants are willing to pay up to around $1,500 monthly. Even today, after all the appreciation the westside has seen, the prices are still attractive, in comparison to anywhere else intown or in any other major city. That's why many out-of-state and out-of-country investors have been coming to invest here. As mentioned, this is not mortgage fraud values either and lending is not as loose as was the case prior to 2007/2008. Of course, there could be a dip in the market, but nothing that should stop a long-term investor from buying, at the right price obviously. In regards to Grove Park, the Proctor Creek Greenway is completed through the Westside Reservoir Park and phase 1 of the park itself broke ground last year and might be completed later in 2019. Quarry Yards should also be coming onboard later this year, not to mention everything else that keeps coming onboard.. The rail segments for the beltline going to Northwest Atlanta have already been purchased as well.

1. The time has definitely come and gone to get 2011/2012 prices, but I do believe there is a solid belief that the SW Atlanta beltline project (supposed to be the first quandrant to get transit) will help.  I wrote a post that is a little more involved that you can reference some of, at least my thoughts on the area since we work there so heavily.   CLICK HERE TO GO TO THAT POST

I'll definitely have to check this article out, I've been looking at the city planning and I definitely see all of the plans for the westside and the Quarry yards I feel like is going to be nothing short of AMAZING. 

2. There are so many making moves over there; hence, why the prices have gone up so steadily.  It almost seems like everyone is trying to get a piece of that pie and now it's the folks either just catching up to this or wanting to make safer bet than 6-7 years ago when it was almost like an enigma! 

Are you personally investing any in that area of town? Or know anyone who is?

Originally posted by @Sam Mitchell :

As a born-and-raised Atlantan, I'm long on the area and my investments demonstrate this. I just think expectations should be real - Grove Park is not going to be Morningside in 20 years. It may not ever be. But I think changing demand patterns from young buyers and renters have the potential to turn these areas into very vibrant and valuable communities - like they historically were.

Good point there with not expecting Grove Park to do a complete 180 into the nicest area of town. 

And I personally can attest to being one of the young buyers that is deeply focused on that side of town for sure. I'm currently in West Midtown in an apartment so I am kind of seeing first hand the wave of development that is basically sweeping over this area and going further west. 

Do you have any investments in the westside currently? 

@Randy Lee  

The only thing that's hard for me to wrap my head around is buying a ~$240,000 home that's sitting right next to a boarded up tear down. 

I've driven all through the area and looked at 10s of listed and unlisted and I can definitely see the opportunity. 

If I was able to get my hands on something solid for a good flip or two I definitely would be open to it. 

@Evan Parker Yes, I own properties in Grove Park and West End. If you're paying $240,000 in that area you should be getting a newly renovated house or rent-ready duplex. I prefer to do buy-and-holds, but I would think that area has some good flipping opportunities. That said, with flips you're inherently missing out on this great appreciation we're all hoping for.

As for the boarded up tear downs - yes, they're everywhere. And vacant lots. Remnants of the foreclosure crisis and an area of the city neglected for decades by the government and businesses. But you can always find tenants for a decent rental property - not always the same story for trying to sell a flip. I also see those lots as huge opportunities. I've been exploring ground-up developments in Grove Park in some of those vacant lots. The land is really overpriced right now in my opinion, but I think that might change in the next couple years.

Street by street can be very different. Ive found that areas like Sylvan Hills and Capital Views have transitioned more. 

@Byron Gardner

Hmm I hadn't really looked into those areas much, thanks for the tip I'll do some digging. 

Back in the day, it was the home of the General Motors Lakewood automobile plant.  Then when it closed, the ripple effect of every dollar being spent, 5 times, eventually affected the whole area. 

The west side is still a goldmine of opportunity. I am actively looking to invest as soon as possible!

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here