This story was originally published in Builder.

Atlanta Aerotropolis
Courtesy of Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance Atlanta Aerotropolis

Things have been hotter than usual in Atlanta as the Census Bureau declared the city to be the third fastest-growing metro area in the country in 2018, trailing only Dallas and Houston. It’s also known for having one of the worst home shortages in the country.

To feed this demand, developers and builders in the area are eagerly eyeing the land surrounding the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and hope to build on the commercial development that is already there.

Formed in 2014, the Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance (AAA) brings together public officials and private businesses tasked with improving the business climate around Hartsfield, one of the world’s busiest airports. The effort got a big boost when Porsche moved its 27-acre Experience Center and U.S. headquarters into the neighborhood in 2015.

Shannon W. James Sr., AAA president and CEO acknowledges that locations near the airport are typically not highly sought after. “We’ve had to really position ourselves to be more desirable,” he says. “When Porsche landed its site here they became the catalyst for our concept, which is to create a central business district around the world’s most traveled and efficient airport in the world.”

While the AAA has been focused mainly on the commercial side of things, there is movement in the residential sector as well. A new development of 17 townhomes starting in the low $300,000s broke ground in December in College Park, a city just to the west of the airport, according to Curbed Atlanta. Floor plans in the Temple Square community will range from 1,850 to 2,500 square feet and the project is expected to be finished this year.

The land near the airport which is zoned for a mix of uses is aggressively priced, says James, and his organization is committed to helping smooth the way for developers willing to take a chance on the locale. “We have land where you’re not going to end up next to some high-rise or a small vacant lot where you’re super restricted,” he says. “We also have an organization that’s working with every municipality so we can help things go a lot smoother, a lot more efficient when you’re talking about going vertical or trying to do some developing.”

Click here for a story about a Denver-area airport-focused development.

This story was originally published in Builder.