For Prospective Off-Campus Dwellers: A Guide to Nearby Neighborhoods
Updated February 2019
Georgia Tech provides housing for more than 8,000 students on campus, but what about the other 12,000? After living on campus for some time, many students seek a greater sense of independence and responsibility by moving off campus.
A common problem for students considering off-campus housing is finding the best place to live. Not everyone has the luxury of choosing from several great neighborhoods, but Tech students do. Regardless of which corner of the city you choose, be sure to weigh all of your options. There are many factors to consider, including roommates, utilities, monthly expenses, commute times, and parking fees.
Different areas will offer different benefits, but here are a few places worth investigating if you’re apartment hunting. Make sure you tour the entire property, and drive around the area at different times to see what it’s like early in the morning and late at night. Don’t settle on a place solely for its price, and make safety and well-being top priorities.
Many apartment complexes close to campus are either partially or specifically for student living. Besides proximity, these places have the benefit of allowing residents to live among other students and sign individual leases while still sharing a space. A few of these options include Square on Fifth (SQ5), The Standard Atlanta, University House Midtown (UHouse), Midtown 100, The Flats at Atlantic Station, Westmar, and Theory West Midtown (opening soon).
Neighborhoods close to campus
Home Park: The closest neighborhood north of campus, Home Park is known for its large student population and affordable living. While it doesn’t offer much in the way of restaurants or shops, one can’t overlook the fact that it is home to Antico Pizza and Sublime Doughnuts, both favorites among students. Furthermore, it is close to Atlantic Station and Howell Mill Road, two vibrant commercial districts. If you’re on campus late, you can also get a ride home from the Stingerette through the Safe Ride Home program.
Highlights: Antico (1093 Hemphill Ave. NW), Sublime Doughnuts (535 10th Street NW), Firehouse Subs (537 10th Street NW), Tannour Grill (398 14th Street NW), proximity to campus.
Downtown and Centennial Place Apartments: Many students choose to live in Centennial Place because of its proximity to campus. Residents can easily walk or bike there, or to the bus stop at North Avenue Apartments, and the North Avenue MARTA station is nearby to get to other places in the city. A little farther south, new apartments are under construction Downtown. Tech students will be in good company with students from Georgia State University, whose campus buildings dot the downtown area. For those who want to take advantage of attractions such as the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, or State Farm Arena, downtown makes it convenient to do so.
Highlights: Georgia Aquarium (225 Baker St NW), World of Coca-Cola (121 Baker Street NW), CNN Center (190 Marietta St NW), Skyview Atlanta (168 Luckie St NW)
Midtown: Still close by and relatively walkable to campus, Midtown is home to families, young couples, singles, and students alike. If you’re a runner, you’ll benefit from the proximity of Piedmont Park and its abundance of trails, including the BeltLine, which runs right along the park and through Ponce City Market. Midtown is also a good option for those who don’t own a car, since it’s close to MARTA, campus, and options for groceries and the like. Midtown has both apartment complexes (such as 116 Ponce, Biltmore Midtown, and Post Parkside) as well as many apartments rented by smaller landlords (which are generally less expensive) for those not as particular about amenities. If you spend a lot of time in Tech Square, Midtown could be more convenient than living farther west, and apartment complexes on the border between Midtown and Tech Square include SQ5, UHouse, and The Standard Atlanta.
Highlights: Willy’s (1071 Piedmont Ave. NE), Publix (950 W. Peachtree Street NW), Ponce City Market (675 Ponce de Leon Ave NE), Piedmont Park, BeltLine access, MARTA access.
Westside: Atlanta’s Westside offers a handful of apartment complexes and small homes, both of which are ideal for students. The area is rapidly developing, with new restaurants and niche shops springing up on every corner. Though a boon to residents’ social lives, it also means increasing prices. The commute from Marietta Street is easier than ever on foot and bike, thanks to the Path Parkway completed a few years ago. Some apartment options include Westmar, Alexan Metro West, Post Collier Hills, and Theory West Midtown, which is opening soon.
Highlights: Ormsby’s (1170 Howell Mill Road), Yeah! Burger (1168 Howell Mill Road), Octane (1009 Marietta St NW), Cookout (1112 Northside Drive NW), proximity to campus.
Atlantic Station: Though Atlantic Station can be pricier than other off-campus options, it’s really close to campus and offers other benefits. Residents are within walking distance of the outdoor shopping mall, IKEA, movie festivals, an 18-screen movie theater, weekend sidewalk markets, and restaurants. Stinger buses travel to the south side of Atlantic Station — though not as frequently as they do on campus — providing a solid transportation option in a pinch.
Highlights: Regal Cinemas 18 (261 19th Street NW), Target (375 18th Street), California Pizza Kitchen (265 18th St NW), Which Wich (265 18th Street NW), IKEA (441 16th St NW)
During your search, ask yourself these questions:
- How much is the monthly rent? Is a deposit required?
- Are furniture and utilities (including Wi-Fi and cable) part of the rent?
- Is parking available, and at what cost?
- What’s the distance to campus and/or work?
- How long is the lease?
- Is it an individual or group lease?
- Can you view a model apartment and take a tour before committing?
- Do you know someone who has lived there?
- Are pets allowed?
- Does the complex provide a roommate-matching service?
- What is the maintenance and repairs policy?
- Is there a policy for guest parking and staying overnight?
- Is the landlord easily accessible if something goes wrong?