The head of Atlanta's most prominent development firm expects transplanted suburbanites to balloon the city's intown population to over 800,000 by 2020. These numbers far exceed Atlanta's regional planning agency forecasts of 650,000 residents.
Tom Bell, chief executive of Cousins Properties, cites studies commissioned by his firm that found "nearly one-quarter of folks now living in the metro Atlanta suburbs are thinking of ditching their big yards and commutes for life in the city."
"Another study, by local pollster Whit Ayres, encouraged by Cousins found that some 412,000 metro area suburbanites, about 17 percent of folks living in five counties surrounding Atlanta, said they were 'likely' or 'somewhat likely' to move into the city limits, Bell said. Another 180,000 said they were 'very likely' to move to town."
"More than half of the suburbanites in the survey, 56 percent, said they were planning on moving somewhere in the not-too-distant future."