City Spotlight: Decatur
"The City of Decatur has evolved into a vibrant, small urban city." – Catherine Lee, City of Decatur, Downtown Development Manager Founded in 1823, even before the City of Atlant... read more
Do you want to live ITP? Or do you prefer to be OTP? If you’re new to metro Atlanta, you may have no idea what either of those acronyms mean. Fortunately, KNOWAtlanta can help you be in the know when it comes to navigating the metro area’s most-loved locales and choosing the perfect place to call home.
So, what constitutes the Perimeter? That would be Interstate 285, or I-285, a major interstate highway loop that encircles Atlanta and connects I-75, I-85 and I-20 to the city. Anything that falls within the loop is recognized as ITP. Areas beyond the borders of the loop are considered to be OTP.
Some of the most popular ITP cities, towns, districts and neighborhoods include Midtown Atlanta, Downtown Atlanta, Buckhead, Decatur, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Doraville, Virginia-Highland, Inman Park, Old Fourth Ward and East Point, among many others. The two main counties that fall ITP are Fulton and DeKalb counties, while small portions of Cobb and Clayton counties also fall within the Perimeter.
The rest of metro Atlanta’s many counties fall outside the Perimeter, including Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Gwinnett, Henry and several others. Sought-after OTP cities are such spots as Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Duluth, Suwanee, Cumming, Braselton, Gainesville, Woodstock, Kennesaw, Marietta, Smyrna, Fayetteville, Peachtree City and McDonough.
The ITP lifestyle is synonymous with urban big city life, complete with industry, entertainment, culture, high-end residential offerings and more. The bustling atmosphere inside the Perimeter is replete with places to go and people to see. The area is popular with young couples and professionals who enjoy condo and townhome living, yet single-family homes are becoming more prevalent in the area for those who want to enjoy the intown way of life.
Those who choose the OTP lifestyle typically have an inclination for spacious homes with yards, local parks and green space and room to grow. And while these suburban spots often have been seen as providing a slower pace than metro Atlanta’s core, there has been an evolution in recent years, with many downtown areas undergoing redevelopment efforts that mix small-town charm with urban convenience.