City Focus

City Spotlight: Marietta

The first thing that often comes to mind when someone says “Marietta” is the Historic Marietta Square, a collection of art, cuisine and the area’s community standards. But the city’s catchphrase, “Come for the opportunity, stay for the success,” speaks volumes as to all that Marietta has to offer.

“Marietta is a historic yet progressive city providing the perfect backdrop for young professionals and entrepreneurs to gather and exchange ideas, whom then decide to call Marietta home,” says Beth Sessoms, Marietta’s economic development manager. The city’s diverse population of nearly 60,000 has access to several universities and colleges — including the Kennesaw State University Marietta Campus, Life University and Chattahoochee Technical College — that each offers opportunities for all ages. On the home front, Marietta’s low millage rate (6.046) and cost of living, new housing options, authentic square and central business district featuring a weekend farmers market, ArtWalk and concerts on the square are just a few of the reasons people want to visit and live in Marietta. “Art enthusiasts from around metro Atlanta seek out the many galleries, music performers and boutiques in and around the Square,” says Sessoms.

Marietta presents many opportunities for residents to lead active lifestyles, increasing quality of life for all in this part of Cobb County. City leaders have designed a new multiuse trail network running from Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, eventually hooking up with the Silver Comet Trail or winding through the KSU Marietta and Life University campuses following Rottenwood Creek to connect to Cobb’s Bob Callan Trail to the Chattahoochee River. Never before has there been so much interest in walkability, trail networks and in-town living near the Marietta Square, where the city’s biggest events, festivals and community gatherings take place all year ‘round.

The city is also undergoing a resurgence in residential building, new businesses and industry, drawing jobs and fresh opportunities to the area and aiding the already healthy climate of economic development. Some of metro Atlanta’s best builders, including John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, Brock Built and Traton Homes, have constructed some of the new residential developments built in Marietta. Future developments include the former Fort Hill site (John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods), former Boston Homes (Brock Built) and Marietta Walk (Century Communities).

“Home Depot is moving 675 IT jobs to NewMarket Business Park and adding an additional 525 new employees,” Sessoms adds. “Red Hare Brewing Company has just completed a major expansion at its property on Delk Industrial Drive and WellStar Health Systems continues to grow and expand.” A few of the new restaurants on the Square, including One Block Over, Piastra, Double Take Café and Stockyard Burgers, have become city staples that have residents flocking to the Square on weekdays and weeknights alike. Also on the Square? The Strand Theatre, a Marietta gem, as well as coffee and ice cream shops, boutiques and antique stores. From the colorful seasonal landscaping in a Victorian setting to the free parking and gazebo ideal for wedding and prom photos, the Square is a central location that draws residents for all occasions.

Marietta Square

Though Marietta is one of the metro area’s most established cities, it is easily defined by how it grows and changes. There are several projects underway or nearing completion that serve to better the community at large. “City leaders are working on addressing some of the challenges on Franklin Road,” Sessoms says. “The $68 million redevelopment bond [approved by voters in 2013] has allowed the city to purchase four apartment complexes. Three of the complexes have been torn down providing an opportunity for 63 acres of land to be developed for commercial use. The new Gateway Marietta [Community Improvement District] has hired a firm to provide landscaping designs to improve the intersections along the Interstate 75 corridor at Delk Road and South Marietta Parkway exits.

“Thanks to the citizens passing a $25 million parks bond [in 2009], Marietta is actively also building new parks and renovating existing parks throughout the city. Custer Park will open soon, offering all types of indoor fitness activities and outdoor soccer fields, “Sessoms says. “Major renovations have already occurred at Tumlin Park, Gramling Park, Custer Park and Lawrence Street gym.”

For relocators seeking a metro city that’s big on community, nurtures the arts and has no shortage of history and activity, Marietta could be an ideal place to call home. Relax in one of the 18 parks or the nearby 2,923-acre Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, catch a show at one of the three stages of live theater, shop for goods and treasures at the weekly farmers market and explore the success of Marietta.

2014 Population (estimated): 60,014
Median Home Price (2009-13): $208,400
Distance from Downtown Atlanta: 20 miles
Distance from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport: 28 miles