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City Spotlight: Smyrna

Recently named one of the best places in metro Atlanta for young couples by Movoto, a licensed brokerage in more than 30 states that’s made it their business to assist in the homebuying process, Smyrna is making a name for itself not only in the area but nationally. “From modern condos to single family and starter homes, there are plenty of options among the homes for sale in Smyrna,” the online story states. “You’ll have plenty to do with events like Food Truck Tuesdays and live shows at the Summer Concert Series. The Smyrna Market Village, the pedestrian oriented downtown area, is a great place to shop, grab a bite to eat at Village Sushi or just enjoy beautiful Georgia weather.”

“We love what they said about us and so did our residents, who shared the news through social media to more than 20,000 people they know,” says Jennifer Bennett, Smyrna’s community relations director. “We have to agree, plus we have so many more things to offer.” Bennett boasts about the city’s award-winning Keep Smyrna Beautiful program, great connectivity, including by vehicle and a growing network of trails, a responsive public works department and government staff that go above and beyond to deliver excellence to its citizens, an extensive parks service, special events spaces like Brawner Hall, being a Google Fiber community and an abundance of housing options and friendly businesses.

Smyrna, also known as the “Jonquil City,” was incorporated in 1872, is located just 10 miles northwest of Atlanta in Cobb County and serves nearly 55,000 residents. This year, the city has adopted the phrase, “Experience abundance and community with us.” Bennett says, “In general, our message — delivered in various visual and verbal ways — says that we are ‘alive with abundant greenspace, great shopping and restaurants, and have fabulous things to do all year long with room for your fabulous things, too.’ We are alive with community spirit, we have diverse and thriving neighborhoods, parks, sports, festivals, concerts, our own library, cool events like food truck gatherings, beautiful streetscapes, great services and so much more.”

Since 2010, 3,307 residential units have been approved in Smyrna and between 2013 and 2014, the city experienced a 275 percent increase in commercial development, in addition to a 200 percent increase in the total permitted developments — residential and commercial. From 2000 to 2015, the total number of housing units in Smyrna increased by 30 percent, growing from 19,633 units to 25,273 units, and more than half (56 percent) of Smyrna’s housing is valued at $150,000 or higher. The 2015 median house value in Smyrna has been $215,519, representing an increase of approximately 75 percent since 2000. By comparison, the median house value in metro Atlanta is $168,100. In the first four months of 2015, three new commercial developments were permitted with a construction value of $3.2 million. Such developments and more include:

Belmont Hills: a 48-acre mixed-use development that will feature lush landscapes, a community greenspace with walking path, pavilion and pond, plus a variety of housing options and a unique collection of restaurants and shops.

Smyrna Grove: 194 single family detached units replacing 726 old apartment units.

Jonquil Village: a 12-acre redevelopment project expected to attract new investment to north Smyrna, particularly in the downtown area.

Atlanta Braves: The multi-use complex, located just outside Smyrna’s city limits, is a 60-acre site scheduled to be open for the 2017 baseball season. The team is relocating from Downtown Atlanta to Cobb County.

Sprouts Market: Construction of Sprouts Grocery Store wrapped up in June. Located in a shopping center complex, other shops opened in conjunction with Sprouts or very soon thereafter.

Bennett says the city is preparing for its future as well. In April 2014, Smyrna initiated its Smyrna Vision process, a seven-month project that resulted in a 28-member steering committee creating a 10-year plan for Smyrna. “Lots of hard work was done by Smyrna citizens, each doing their part to create the Smyrna Vision Plan,” she says. The next phase, implementation, includes residents and business stakeholders from across Smyrna focusing on involvement and leadership, quality of place, image and identity, Smyrna’s schools and community and economic development. Materials related to the process can be found online at smyrnavision.com.

Learn more about the City of Smyrna by visiting smyrnacity.com.

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