City Spotlight: Acworth
Metro Atlanta’s ‘Lake City’
A little more than 35 miles north of Downtown Atlanta is the lakeside community of Acworth in Cobb County—one of the metro area’s fastest growing cities. Since 2000, Acworth’s population has grown by about 72 percent, from 13,422 residents in 2000 to an estimated 23,106 in 2015, according to Brandon Douglas, Acworth’s assistant city manager.
“Whether you are a visitor or resident, our great quality of life is shared with everyone in the most friendly city in the South!” says Acworth Mayor Tommy Allegood. “There is truly something for everyone in our community, whether you’re a foodie looking for a unique eat, one-of-a-kind boutiques or an afternoon on one of our two lakes.”
Incorporated in 1860, Acworth originally prospered as a Georgia railroad town. Since that time, more people have started calling it home for both their families and businesses as a result of its restaurants, growth in business and sense of community. It was designated as a “Georgia Main Street City” in 2000 and an “All American City” in 2010. When asked what is drawing relocators and business owners to Acworth, Allegood adds, “Our historic downtown is known as a dining destination with restaurants serving every palate. Recently, Gabriel’s at the Old Mill opened, which added to our strong list of already established restaurants. We also have recently seen the housing market rebound, as there is a great demand for real estate in the area. Walton Properties just broke ground in an area of redevelopment off of School Street, and they will be serving our aging population by early 2016.”
As far as what’s on the horizon for this community, Allegood says that with the recent passing of the Cobb County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, they are looking forward to the construction and completion of Acworth’s city community center, which will be in a redeveloped area near the historic downtown area. “This will eventually connect our walking trails to our beautiful lake parks,” he adds. Last November, Cobb voters approved an approximately $750 million SPLOST that will kick off in 2016. The six-year, one-cent sales tax includes collecting money for county projects, in addition to each of the county’s six incorporated cities, including approximately $21.2 million for Acworth city projects.
THRIVING BUSINESS COMMUNITY
Assistant City Manager Brandon Douglas says the area has also seen an increase in employers and employees, increasing from 3,888 to 7,061, or by about 82 percent, in the last decade. In addition, more businesses licenses were issued, 1,028, up from 548 a decade ago, or an 88 percent increase.
“Acworth has witnessed its commercial tax base increasing from 18 to 37 percent [in the last 15 years] with the residential tax base adjusting from 82 to 63 percent,” Douglas adds. “This ‘balancing’ of the tax base is beneficial in providing for a more sustainable future for the community.” This represents a 405 percent increase in commercial growth during this period. However, Douglas explains, it could also be noted that during this same period, residential housing units increased by 56 percent, indicating that residential growth still occurred during this period.
Jay White, branch manager at Angel Oak Home Loans in Acworth who also serves as president of the Acworth Business Association, describes the business atmosphere in his hometown of seven years now as “thriving.” When asked what he believes contributes to the increase in residents in Acworth and success in business, White says, “schools and quality of life.” “Our schools are some of the best in the state and it drives families to Acworth, also the quality of life and being the second safest city in Georgia is another contributing factor, in addition to all the resources that Acworth offers four golf courses, two lakes and some of the best restaurants around,” he adds.
ALL ABOUT ACWORTH
2015 Population (estimated)
Average Work Travel Time
Median Home Price
Median Household Income
Source: U.S. Census Bureau