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which GA city outside ATL metro is growing fastest?


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#1 cocateho

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 08:52 PM

hey everybody i thought it might be interesting to hear from anyone who has been to all the major cities in georgia which one seems to be growing fatest, and for anyone to say what they think about the growth in general in their cities and where it might lead one day.

 

#2 DaltonGA

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 10:35 AM

Gainesville is the fastest growing MSA outside of Atlanta, but it is included in the CSA as there is a great deal of commuter exchange from Hall County(Gainesville) to Gwinnett County(Atlanta MSA core county). South Hall is growing leaps and bounds from Gwinnett overflow while Gainesville is a major employment center. Also, Cumming and Forsyth County and Dawson County, part of the Altanta MSA, have ties to Gainesville which predate their inclusion in the Atlanta MSA.

After Gainesville, Warner Robins, Dalton, Valdosta and Athens are experiencing the greatest percentage increases. Brunswick is beginning to pick up steam, capitalizing on the coast and proximity to Florida and Savannah. Athens could easily end up being included in the Atlanta CSA, as Barrow County in the Atlanta MSA has a large exchange with Athens and Jackson County between Athens-Clarke County and Hall County experiences large exchanges with Athens, Gainesville and Atlanta MSAs. It was not included in Athens, Atlanta, or Gainesville MSA in 2000, but was part of the Athens MSA in 1980, being dropped in 1990. Braselton, Hoschton and Chateau Elan are definitely suburban Atlanta while northern Jackson County is tied to Gainesville and the South to Athens, Commerce in northeast Jackson does have a strong employment base of its own, creating a very "divided" county in terms of commute patterns.

Augusta has had the largest numeric increases since World War II, though the current growth is split between Columbia Co in Georgia and Aiken Co., SC. Richmond has seen considerably slower growth since the late-70's. Savannah with the exception of the 1960's has been the next largest gainer. Albany was the fastest growing metro, percentage wise, in the 60's and 70's, only to come to a screeching halt during the 80's. Lee County has been the sole source of growth since the 1970's. Columbus hasn't grown rapidly since the 1950's, but BRAC realignments are expected to bring growth back. Harris County has being growing strongly while Lee Co, AL(Auburn-Opelika) is growing rapidly and included in Columbus's CSA. Harris Co experiences some commute exchange with LaGrange and Troup Co, part of the Atlanta CSA and ties with Meriwether, part of the Altanta MSA. Macon is slow growing due to the dividing of Macon and Warner Robins into two MSA's in 2002. This has highligted the lack of growth in Bibb County and white flight from Macon which has otherwise been overlooked. Jones, Crawford, and Monroe Cos are experiencing moderate to strong growth for their population, but Monroe is also experiencing Atlanta spillover. Rome is slowly growing, but borders metro Atlanta, and growth is on the increase.

Basically the only metro far enough from Atlanta to not be swallowed up are Savannah, Augusta, Valdosta, Brunswick, and Albany. Dalton borders Gordon County, not part of an MSA, but likely to be added to Atlanta and Catoosa Co, in the Chattanooga MSA and eventually become part of a "Chattlanta" agglomeration. The South Georgia metros have the potential to capitalize on being a Florida alternative with lower real estate and tax costs, which Brunswick and Valdosta have done in some capacity while Savannah has positioned itself as Jacksonville, FL and Charleston, SC as its biggest rivals. In the 1920's there was attempts to market the Albany area as a retirement having, drawing upon Radium Springs. The Depression and Florida bust of the late-20's seemed to end those attempts.

#3 aboutmetro

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 10:07 AM

No doubt, according to all state economists, Columbus will outpace any 2nd metro in GA over the next 5 years.

- Aflac adding 2,000 new jobs in Columbus is state's single largest expansion currently
- Kia will be next adding another 2,000 with up to 1,500 spinoffs in the metro area
- Ft Benning will be adding another 5,000+ between 2008 - '11

Projections are to add about 30,000 to 50,000 in population in the metro area in the next 5 - 10 years on top of natural growth trend. Challenges are where these new folks will house and go to school etc. Columbus has a total lack of Interstates for access to the suburbs. If more developers with an urban vision (like Gilley Properties' low-rise condo in DT), the lack of Interstates could be a temporary blessing, at least for growing the urban core. Otherwise, Columbus really, really needs the proposed I-14 (Augusta to Texas), and rumored(?) I-22 (Memphis to Brunswick), and really, really needs the propose Benning Bypass to access metro-south 'burbs.

West GA Boom - GA Trend
USA Today Article

#4 aboutmetro

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 10:12 AM

Truly, what do you guys think about Atlanta's massive city-state like growth. Does it help or hurt the rest of GA? Georgia's '2nd tier' cities are really tertiary cities in an urban sense. If Atlanta, Houston, etc are primary markets, B'ham and maybe even Nashville are secondary. So if ATL hadn't grown so fast, would the wealth have been spread around the state any more, or whould we have not grown as progressively - stayed more like AL? Thoughts, comments, anecdotes?

#5 DaltonGA

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 11:15 PM

I think being on the Atlantic Coast, the proximity to Florida, Tennessee and the Carolinas would have resulted in a more progressive climate for the entire state had Atlanta not grown so rapidly. I think Savannah would have maintained its second place status with its distance from Atlanta and Jacksonville allowing it to be a magnet. Columbus, Augusta, Macon and Albany would have continued growing closer to the pace they were in the 1950's. Atlanta would still have had several advantages over Birmingham because the metro was not a heavily dependent on industry and more diverisified. A more progressive statewide political and economic climate might have even resulted in Georgia having adopted more liberalized banking laws when North Carolina did and Charlotte may not emerged as the banking center of the South.

#6 mitchella81

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 09:03 AM

Truly, what do you guys think about Atlanta's massive city-state like growth. Does it help or hurt the rest of GA? Georgia's '2nd tier' cities are really tertiary cities in an urban sense. If Atlanta, Houston, etc are primary markets, B'ham and maybe even Nashville are secondary. So if ATL hadn't grown so fast, would the wealth have been spread around the state any more, or whould we have not grown as progressively - stayed more like AL? Thoughts, comments, anecdotes?



I must say that I think Atlanta's rapid growth was very benificial to the rest of the state. Bieng we must all remember the south is looked upon by the rest of the country as bieng "slow" & "backwards". However Atlanta really did open doors by showing itself as a international city. This opened the doors for people to start looking more closely at Georgia and for companies to start expanding into the Atlanta Market. As they came into that market and were successful they expanded into Georgia's larger markets close to Atlanta bieng; Macon, Columbus, Augusta, and Athens even Chattanooga, TN has reaped the rewards. Savannah really is far enough from Atlanta that it survived on its on mainly due to tourism and its rich history through the states existence. Example bieng just think of stores like Macys a nicer style department store all of Georgias larger cities have at least one macys store: Athens, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, Savannah. however look at our nieghbor to the west Alabama. Montgomery & Mobile are larger than all of Georgias second Tier cities but lack the store and many of the stores that you find through Georgia. Mississippi is the same way. Atlanta is good because it competes internationally and markets the state worldwide. It is really the backbone of the states growth

Edited by mitchella81, 15 August 2007 - 09:05 AM.


#7 socaguy

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 06:01 PM

Its funny that you mentioned Macys. Its always been a staple department store in the state of Georgia, at least in Atlanta, Augusta, Macon and Athens. Macys came to Georgia in the early 80's in these markets...far before the chain took over the USA. The folks up in NY considered Ga., some older South Carolina stores (In Columbia...now defunct) and the Florida stores the "Atlanta" market. I was told once that many of them up north thought of Athens, Macon and Augusta as suburban stores of Atlanta....can they not read maps?

#8 gah

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 09:04 AM

Its funny that you mentioned Macys. Its always been a staple department store in the state of Georgia, at least in Atlanta, Augusta, Macon and Athens. Macys came to Georgia in the early 80's in these markets...far before the chain took over the USA. The folks up in NY considered Ga., some older South Carolina stores (In Columbia...now defunct) and the Florida stores the "Atlanta" market. I was told once that many of them up north thought of Athens, Macon and Augusta as suburban stores of Atlanta....can they not read maps?



I think that Macy's was called Davison's in the South for some reason -- probably because Macy's had a "Yankee" connotation.

When the South became less provincial (for lack of a better word), it apparently became "safe" to use the name Macy's. Davison's was also an iconic department store in Columbus with a large 4-5 story facility on Broadway and 12th (hideously ugly in a 1950's way) that is now occupied by a funiture store. There was also a small suburban branch in what was the first Columbus shopping center, Cross Country Plaza (not sure what occupies that space now, maybe a pizza place named Deorio's?). At any rate, both stores closed some time ago.

Rich's was one of the four anchors in Peachtree Mall and that store is now a Macy's. As for Athens, Macon and Augusta (and Columbus) being suburbs of Atlanta -- that thought may not have been wrong, just a little early. Seems more and more like Atlanta is the City that Ate Georgia!

#9 Topher1

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 02:24 PM

Its funny that you mentioned Macys. Its always been a staple department store in the state of Georgia, at least in Atlanta, Augusta, Macon and Athens. Macys came to Georgia in the early 80's in these markets...far before the chain took over the USA. The folks up in NY considered Ga., some older South Carolina stores (In Columbia...now defunct) and the Florida stores the "Atlanta" market. I was told once that many of them up north thought of Athens, Macon and Augusta as suburban stores of Atlanta....can they not read maps?


I thought the Augusta Mall Macy's was originally a Rich's as well... Am I just hideously wrong about that? The only "originally built as a Macy's" Macy's that I've been too (that I'm aware of) were NYC and Orlando Millenia Mall. AFAIK, the rest of the Florida Macy's are just former Burdines...

#10 gah

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 02:35 PM

I thought the Augusta Mall Macy's was originally a Rich's as well... Am I just hideously wrong about that? The only "originally built as a Macy's" Macy's that I've been too (that I'm aware of) were NYC and Orlando Millenia Mall. AFAIK, the rest of the Florida Macy's are just former Burdines...



I suspect that you are right about Augusta Richs/Macys. I think it all came about when some large company (Federal Depart. Stores?) bought out Richs (and other chains) some years back. It owns several chains (like Bloomingdales I think). Kept the name Richs for a while, then becmae Richs/Macys and then just Macys. Unlike Richs, Davisons was always affiliated with Macys == just the name was different depending on whether you were up north (Macys) or down South (Davisons)

#11 socaguy

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 07:19 PM

Right...Davisons changed to Macys in the early 1980's in the Georgia cities, (Atlanta, Augusta, Macon, Athens, and possibly Columbus). The Macys in Augusta was where the new Lifestyle Center is being built at the Mall. It was there for some 20 years as Macys. I worked there back in the 90's.

Later Macys Augusta left and the existing Richs became Rich's/Macys. Then just Macys after about a year. So there was a 2-3 year time gap when Macys was not in Augusta, but it has been in the Augusta market for almost 25 years, (as Macys).

Oh....Federated owned both Macys and Richs. I think they were tired of the 2 stores competeing and the many malls they were in so they consolidated them, (and other Federated stores).

#12 DaltonGA

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Posted 18 August 2007 - 01:33 PM

Hinesville-Ft Stewart will rejoin the list of fastest growing MSA's outside of Atlanta as troops return from Iraq. The low growth the early part of the decade was a result of troop deployment and many spouses returning to their hometowns while their spouse was in Iraq. The entire Georgia coast has potential for rapid growth. Savannah and Brunswick haven't fully tapped their potential and Camden County is beginning to see Jacksonville overflow. Folkston and Waycross are beginning to see some benefits of their proximity to Jacksonville as well, which should overtake the small upticks and downticks in population around Waycross since the 1950's.

Hinesville is probably the least urbanized city of its size anywhere, It grew from a little more than 4000 people in 1970 to its present size of over 30k by 2000 due to base realigments in the the late 70's and early 80's mainly from Fort Bragg, NC to Fort Stewart. Per capita income is comparatively low due to a military economy and this does little to attract retail. Bryan County to the north is experiencing rapid growth from Savannah and this will also spill into Liberty County, boosting the income and attracting retail. There are several developments closer to I-95 geared toward attracting retirees to Liberty County as well.

#13 Disgusta

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 12:55 AM

Gainesville is the fastest growing outside of Atlanta... even though technically Gainesville is lumped in with the Atlanta CSA.. I consider it seperate.. Of GA's second tier cities... Savannah is growing the fastest... Chatham County now has over 240,000 ppl.. the largest of any county outside of the metro Atlanta region.. Also look for lots of growth in Athens.. Looks like UGA will have a med school there.. plus college towns rank high on quality of life scales.. and college towns have become attractive places for retirees. Columbus is also high on the list... It benefits from BRAC.. as military personnel will be added to Benning. But no where else in the state can compare to metro Atlanta's growth.. about 80% of the growth in georgia is still centered around metro Atlanta... I don't think that will change. I don't think any of Georgia's other cities will become the "next Atlanta." And really other than Atlanta.. Georgia doesn't have any other "Major" cities.

#14 yerocal

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 01:34 PM

Gainesville is the fastest growing outside of Atlanta... even though technically Gainesville is lumped in with the Atlanta CSA.. I consider it seperate.. Of GA's second tier cities... Savannah is growing the fastest... Chatham County now has over 240,000 ppl.. the largest of any county outside of the metro Atlanta region.. Also look for lots of growth in Athens.. Looks like UGA will have a med school there.. plus college towns rank high on quality of life scales.. and college towns have become attractive places for retirees. Columbus is also high on the list... It benefits from BRAC.. as military personnel will be added to Benning. But no where else in the state can compare to metro Atlanta's growth.. about 80% of the growth in georgia is still centered around metro Atlanta... I don't think that will change. I don't think any of Georgia's other cities will become the "next Atlanta." And really other than Atlanta.. Georgia doesn't have any other "Major" cities.


I have to agree that none of the second tier cities will be identical or as major as Atlanta but I can see these 2nd tier cities becoming cities like Tampa, Orlando or etc…On that scale…. All it going to take is for these cities to invest in something that draws in some major growth….. Like if Macon’s Middle Georgia Regional Airport is chosen for a reliever airport for Hartsfield, it’s would definitely draw so much growth to this area, in addition to the plans for high speed rail development. As we speak a lot of these2nd tier cites are experiencing huge amount of development growth…. just because a city doesn’t or has not grown in pop doesn’t means it not growing because just like Macon is not experiencing a lot of pop growth within the city but the county is and Macon huge is a Economic engine (HUB) for 22 counties with a pop of over 600,000 feeds off of Macon for shopping, work, or etc. … Also there are millions of sq ft. of commercial & retail growth in Macon. I think when you guys mention growth you should consider it all pop & development… because there lots of cities which has high growth of pop but without much growth in development…..

#15 socaguy

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 12:15 AM

Topher....to go way back to August, yes, the Augusta mall Macys (where it is now) was originally a Rich's and the old Macys was torn down when they built the new expansion. Back in the 80's it was Davidsons until it changed, (to Macys.)

LOL Im responding to something I responded to already several months back.