A demographic wave is sweeping across our nation, and it will be a decisive force in shaping our economic destiny. In the years ahead, changes in demographics and consumer behavior will drive new real estate development patterns that reflect a trend toward communities focused on livability and sustainability. These communities will have town centers that act as focal points, offering green space, shopping amenities, entertainment opportunities, and close proximity to employment centers.
As cities move increasingly into a knowledge-based economy, the kind of talented people each city attracts will determine whether it wins or loses in the campaign for future prosperity. The dominate demographic groups of the future, including aging Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y, all place high value on time, convenience, and amenities. This new localism places a high value on areas to gather and share ideas and opinions. The City of Dunwoody is focusing efforts on providing the types of residential communities that suit these changing tastes.
Perimeter Center is a dominant Class-A office and retail market; the largest contiguous employment district in the Southeast with 100,000 employees, 4,000 businesses, 248 office buildings, and 18 million visitors to Perimeter Mall annually. The PCIDs recently completed a study of the Perimeter Office District to identify and address the most significant development challenges in the coming decade. As this market continues to grow, the transition from a suburban office market to a more urban form will accelerate. Three areas of focus for the future will be:
• Connectivity Between Activity Districts – The future of Perimeter Center will include more walkable districts around major intersections and activity centers such as Perimeter Mall and office buildings. This will require new development patterns and retrofitting the large block suburban grid and underutilized surface parking lots.
• Development of Transit Villages Around MARTA Stations – One major asset that is underutilized in Perimeter Center is the MARTA Transit System. High-density, transit-oriented development at these stations will allow for more transportation options for employees and residents, and improve the general mobility of the Perimeter Office District.
• Livability Enhancements – Competition for residents and high-quality employers will require Perimeter Center to develop a more vibrant civic environment and sense of place. Investments will include new parks, enhanced green space and gathering places, improved pedestrian infrastructure, and wayfinding systems.
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