Smyrna: A Small Town with Big Plans
At the end of 2018, Money Magazine released its list of the 50 Best Places to Live in the United States. For residents of the metro Atlanta region, it was no surprise to see the City of Smyrna appear on that distinctive list. In fact, the Jonquil City (as it was named for the delightful yellow flowers that pop up across the city every spring) has become one of the most coveted residential spots in the metro area. Of course, getting to that point didn’t happen overnight. In fact, according to Jennifer Bennett, community relations director for the City of Smyrna, “Overnight success isn’t really overnight success. It takes planning and work.” And the recognition that Smyrna is receiving today is actually the culmination of nearly three decades of planning, hard work and dedication to making the city all it can be for residents and visitors alike. From boasting an outstanding housing market and a booming business community to providing an unparalleled quality of life, Smyrna truly has earned every accolade that has come its way.
Home Sweet Home
One of the key reasons Smyrna is noted as a great place to live is the fact that it has an exceptional housing market. Last year, personal finance tech company SmartAsset noted that the city actually has one of the healthiest housing markets in the entire State of Georgia, coming in at number eight on the list. The study from the New York-based firm looked at factors like the stability of the local market, home affordability and the market’s fluidity, among others. Smyrna rated near the top of each category, with a fairly low cost of owning a home (19.8 percent of the household’s income) and a low percentage of homes within the city decreasing in value (only 9.3 percent). What’s more, residents typically stay in their homes for around 11 years; however, when a home is put up for sale, it sells rather quickly. And as the real estate market throughout metro Atlanta continues to grow and shift, Smyrna—the second largest city in Cobb County—undoubtedly will remain one of the most popular areas considered by both current and potential area residents.
Located close to such areas at the Cumberland District and attractions like SunTrust Park, Smyrna is a beacon for businesses of all sizes that want to take advantage of this flourishing part of the metro Atlanta area. In fact, being pro-business and encouraging economic growth is one of the city’s top efforts. For instance, in recent years, Smyrna has taken on a major downtown revitalization and redevelopment effort that focuses on land use, corporate investment and city operations; the goal is to make the city appealing not only for local citizens, but also for incoming businesses with the development of locales like Jonquil Village, Belmont and Smyrna Market Village. The initiative has seen great success so far, with the business community blossoming thanks to a diverse mix of companies, retail destinations and more. And that growth, which also helps to boost the local job market, clearly will continue for years to come.
Smyrna officials recognize the importance of having a variety of cultural arts offerings available for residents and visitors, as it is a key element when it comes to overall quality of life. From historic sites, museums and galleries to nonprofit arts organizations, Smyrna is home to myriad culture-based locales. Additionally, the City of Smyrna is home to numerous arts, history and cultural groups and maintains a rich library culture with its own library of remarkable size and offerings. What’s more, Smyrna features parks of all sizes and is a perennial award-winning clean and beautiful city through its Keep Smyrna Beautiful program, which has led it to win high-level national awards year after year.
As Smyrna continues to evolve, it’s vital that the people who call it home support the various efforts to continue its growth and development. It’s also important that they come together often and be engaged in the community as a whole. Fortunately, that community spirit is front and center every day in Smyrna—and it has been that way since the city created spots like the Village Green (where City Hall, the Community Center and the city’s beloved central fountain reside) nearly 30 years ago. It continues to this day as residents gather regularly for festivals, seasonal events, Food Truck Tuesdays, movie nights, concerts and more. It’s just one of the many reasons why Smyrna is such a wonderful place to live.
Building on Success
The planning never stops in Smyrna, which boasts a reputation for smart growth and has been awarded the Urban Land Institute’s Award for Excellence. Of course, what will come in the future remains to be seen, but the city’s efforts will continue to focus on what is best for the more than 50,000 residents who choose to live in Smyrna. That’s the way it always has been—and the way it always will be.