Atlanta BeltLine Optimal Land Use Analysis
One of the key findings from Mass Economics’ work on the Atlanta BeltLine’s Real Estate, Housing, and Economic Development Action Plan was that in order for the BeltLine to reach its goal of 30,000 new jobs within the BeltLine Planning Area (BLPA) by 2030, it would need to dramatically increase job densities through the rationalization of land use and the activation of vacant and underutilized land. In this project for the Atlanta BeltLine, the Mass Economics team worked to identify site opportunities and strategies to optimize underutilized land and create accessible jobs in the BLPA.
The project team performed an on-the-ground vacancy and underutilization parcel survey of approximately 900 parcels throughout the BLPA and, based on these collected data, constructed the top 20 assemblies of parcels over five acres in size using the following metrics: assembly acreage, number of unique owners, type of owner (public vs. private), topography, and nearby real estate activity and trends. During the surveying, Mass Economics identified three types of under-utilization: economic (low value added activities relative to potential uses of the site); design (low FARs with the building, parking, etc. designed to only use a portion of the site); and occupancy (level of site activities is a fraction of designed or former use).
In partnership with Atlanta BeltLine staff, Mass Economics created real estate development strategies for different typologies of these 20 assemblies based on different ownership types (and shares), underutilization type, and potential for value creation and capture. The Atlanta BeltLine is currently working with the City, Invest Atlanta, and other partners (public, philanthropic, and private) to implement these strategies in the coming months.