ATLANTA TAKES THE STAGE
There are times in the lives of cities when everything seems to be coming together, economics and culture and quality of life, all converging and gelling in a positive way. Right now, there may be no city that exemplifies such a time more than Atlanta.
It is, first, a wonderful place to live and raise a family. Atlanta is a city of diverse neighborhoods and diverse people, a southern city that is also worldly, shaped by its immigrant communities and its status as a globaltravel hub.
It is also a great place to work. Atlanta’s fast-growing economy is fueled by a highly educated workforce, the city’s affordability, the presence of many of America’s foremost companies and political and business communities that work together to promote a positive business climate.
And Atlanta is an exciting place to visit, with a range of cultural offerings that is hard to surpass—from world-class museums, such as the High Museum of Art, to new and innovative institutions like Georgia Aquarium, preservationist classics like the Fox Theatre and the engineering brilliance of the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz Stadium, an architectural wonder that will host some of sports’ biggest events, like Super Bowl LIII. Not to mention, Atlanta has one of the hottest food, film and music scenes in the country.
There’s a lot going on in Atlanta right now, some of which you can read about here. But to really appreciate all that is exciting about Atlanta, you really just need to see it for yourself. For more information, visit atlanta.net.
Bolstered by savvy economic policy and a culture of inclusivity, Atlanta is enjoying a creative surge.
No question, Atlanta is hot. Created by native son Donald Glover, the FX show about two cousins making their way in the city’s rap scene won a Golden Globe award for best television series/musical or comedy. But Atlanta is only one example of the incredible creative moment that the city of Atlanta is now enjoying—one centered in its identity as a crucible of African American life. As the New York Times put it, “the Atlanta area is now home tosuch a critical mass of successful actors, rappers and entertainment executives that few would argue its position as the center of black culture.”
Thanks to tax credits and an affordable cost of living, Georgia has the nation’s third-largest film industry, behind LA and New York. In the 2015–2016 fiscal year, the industry generated some $7 billion in economic impact in the state. Institutions such as the Georgia Film Academy help provide skilled technicians, while production houses like Tyler Perry Studios, Eagle Rock and Pinewood have built facilities for film and television productions. TV shows filmed in Atlanta include The Walking Dead, 24: Legacy and Sleepy Hollow, while the feature films shot here in 2017 include Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther and Pitch Perfect 3.
Even as Atlanta—ATL, as it’s known—is earning fame in film, it’s always been a capital of music, especially hip-hop. Local artists include Ciara, Gucci Mane, India.Arie, Migos, Janelle Monáe, OutKast, 21 Savage, Usher and Young Jeezy. Atlanta is to hip-hop what Nashville is to roots music and New Orleans is to jazz. The reasons? A reputation for cultural inclusiveness, a supportive and diverse artistic community and affordability.
As if all that weren’t enough, there’s also a thriving food scene. Atlanta is home to amazing southern cooking, but also food inspired by immigrant communities, such as Latinos, Vietnamese, Koreans and others. Atlanta chefshave earned 56 James Beard Award nominations in the last five years.
All these trends further enhance Atlanta’s status as a remarkable place to visit, live, work and create.
Born in Austin, singer/songwriter Ciara traveled around the world with her military family during her childhood before settling in Atlanta in her teens; she has identified as an Atlantan ever since.
Recently renewed by FX for a second season, is a show about aspiring musicians and the music they make. But also it’s about, as creator and star Donald Glover (shown here, far right) has said, “what it feels like to be black.”
A star of Atlanta’s culinary scene, The Optimist
brings upscale seafood to Midtown Atlanta with an inspired menu by owner-chef Ford Fry and executive chef Adam Evans (who trained under chef Tom Colocchio) that’s served in an industrial setting with a modern-rustic decor.
From Fortune 500 firms to fin-tech startups, Atlanta has one of the country’s fastest-growing economies.
If you asked many Americans who live in California or New York what the country’s most vibrant economies are, they’d probably say San Francisco and New York. It’s time to add Atlanta to that short list.
The city is headquarters to 13 Fortune 500 companies, including Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, the Home Depot, Southern Company, SunTrust Banks and UPS. More are coming: Since 2010, 16 companies have moved their headquarters to Atlanta or expanded operations, ranging from Porsche USA to Prince, the sports-equipment maker, and software and electronics company NCR. In 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Metro Atlanta had the country’s highest percentage of year-to-year growth compared to the country’s other 12 largest metropolitan areas.
Atlanta benefits from a mild climate; a highly educated labor pool, thanks to local universities including Emory, Georgia Tech, Spelman and Morehouse; a superb airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; low taxes and a low cost of living; abundant and relatively inexpensive real estate; and a resurgent downtown.
Then there are the intangibles. One has been, since 2010, the political leadership of Mayor Kasim Reed, a pro-business Democrat. Another is the success of Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development authority, which has worked diligently to attract and foster business, whether it’s supporting female entrepreneurship or helping to sponsor a job training center. There’s also the strength that comes from Atlanta’s welcoming culture. Long a center of the civil rights movement, Atlanta now has the second-fastest-growing immigrant population in the country. It’s a potent mix that helps to foster a strong, unified and productive community.
GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Ranked among the world’s best universities, Atlanta-based Georgia Institute of Technology
is organized into six colleges and 31 departments with an emphasis on science and technology. In 2017 Georgia Tech was number 34 on U.S. News & World Report
‘s ranking of the top national colleges and universities.
As part of a 27-acre complex located near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Porsche USA
opened a headquarters as well as a Porsche Experience Center (PEC)
, which allows guests to test drive one of 75 new model vehicles alongside a Porsche Drive Coach on a 1.6 mile handling circuit. The PEC also offers two dining options: the Carrera Café and Restaurant 356.
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
As the busiest passenger airport in the world, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport gives the Atlanta economy an immense competitive advantage: The global hub offers nonstop service to more than 150 domestic andnearly 70 international locations. ATL was the first airport in the world to serve more than 100 million passengers in a single year. One reason: For travel to most cities around the country, it simply offers the shortest routes. atl.com
Southern Company is now the second-largest utility company in the country, serving nine million electric and gas utility customers through its subsidiaries. One of the city’s most long-standing corporate citizens, Southern Company does more than just provide energy: An industry-leader in energy innovation, it underwrites natural habitat and wildlife protection and is active in the philanthropic life in Atlanta, as well as the hundreds of other communities it serves. southerncompany.com
the coca-Cola company
When in 1886 John Pemberton, a local pharmacist, began playing with flavored syrup and carbonation, Coca-Cola was born. Since its completion in 1979, 1 Coca-Cola Plaza, the company headquarters downtown, has become one of the most recognizable sights in the skyline. Also downtown, the company welcomes visitors to the World of Coca-Cola, a local attraction and museum. coca-cola.com
United Parcel Service was founded in Seattle but in 1991 relocated its headquarters here because Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport supported the company’s expanding global and stateside operations. ups.com
the home Depot
The world’s largest home improvement retailer, the Home Depot was founded by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank in Atlanta in 1978 and is still headquartered here. With help from investor Ken Langone and merchandiser Pat Farrah, the two opened their first two warehouse stores in 1979. There are now over 2,000 worldwide. homedepot.com
Delta Air Lines
Delta has operated out of Atlanta since 1941, and it achieved landmarks for Georgia, including in 1955 the first Atlanta to New York route. By 1979, Delta became the first airline to board one million passengers in one city—Atlanta—in a month. Today, customers have top-of-the-line travel with Delta thanks to a new suite of experiences offered through Delta One, including complimentary Delta Sky Club access. delta.com
An increasingly global city is blessed with a wealth of cultural options.
Atlanta embraces diversity, and its cultural offerings—which run the gamut from the High Museum of Art to Tyler Perry Studios and the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience—reflect that inclusive attitude. This is a city that is constantly innovating, but is also dedicated to honoring its traditions and history.
Georgia Aquarium is a leading nonprofit dedicated to aquatic research, exceptional animal care and education to engage and cultivate a deeper understanding and appreciation for our ocean. As the number-one rated aquarium in the U.S. and the second in the world, with over two million visitors per year, Georgia Aquarium has become a must-visit staple in the evolving downtown district. Guests will be inspired by a multitude of species, rescued animals and programs that allow for engaging and memorable interactions.
Running through the city, the new Atlanta BeltLine connects neighborhoods in a way that the city has never experienced. A sustainable redevelopment project, the BeltLine will ultimately link 45 neighborhoods via multiuse trails, modern streetcars and parks. It now boasts seven parks and four trails, plus a linear arboretum and an urban farm—and you can see Atlantans walking, running and biking on the BeltLine across town.
Those are two of the cultural innovations creating bridges between Atlanta’s rich history and its youthful energy. There are plenty of others, like Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market, both of which transformed industrial warehouse and factory spaces into vibrant and distinctive food halls and retail centers. The common thread: A city that welcomes new people and new ideas with an abundance of cultural riches.
Only a little over a decade old, this nonprofit aquarium has quickly earned a reputation as one of the world’s best places to see marine life other than, well, the ocean. Highlights include beluga whales, dolphins and near-countless species of fish—all in beautifully designed spaces that make for incredible viewing. georgiaaquarium.org
The Fox Theatre
A city landmark and national treasure, the Fox Theatre, a former movie palace that opened in 1929, hosts artists from a variety of genres, including hip-hop, pop, modern dance and comedy. foxtheatre.org
The Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home to NFL’s Falcons and Atlanta United FC, features space for 83,000 fans. The venue will host the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in 2018 and Super Bowl LIII in 2019. mercedesbenzstadium.com
Tyler Perry Studios
Filmmaker and actor Tyler Perry launched his film production studio Tyler Perry Studios
in Atlanta in 2006, and he recently relocated it to a new complex on 330 acres of the former Fort McPherson Army base. When the facility is completed this year, it will be one of the largest film studios in the country—surpassing Warner Bros. Studios (145 acres) and Walt Disney Studios (51 acres) both in Burbank.
The Atlanta United Soccer Team
An expansion franchise of Major League Soccer, Atlanta United FC
commenced its inaugural season in 2017 as part of the Eastern Conference of MLS. The new professional soccer club will play in Mercedes-Benz Stadium (as of July 2017).
super bowl LIII
Super Bowl LIII will bring an influx of tourism to Atlanta in 2019 when Mercedes-Benz Stadium plays host to the game.
Conceived in 1999 as a master’s thesis by Georgia Tech student Ryan Gravel, the Atlanta BeltLine will ultimately feature a loop of 22 miles of modern streetcars, 33 miles of multiuse trails and 2,000 acres of parks. Tours are available to visitors by bus, bike or on foot. beltline.org
Ponce City Market, Krog Street Market
Stocked with unusual stores and restaurants with a distinctly local feel, Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market are fantastic sites for dining and shopping. Both showcase local artisans and chefs, offering a taste of Atlanta’s thriving food scene. poncecitymarket.com
the Center for Civil and Human Rights
The birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr., Atlanta has a long and proud history of engagement with the civil rights movement. Its Center for Civil and Human Rights, a socially engaged museum, both educates and empowers. civilandhumanrights.org
For more information, visit atlanta.net.