Can Peachtree Corners Continue to Thrive?

I have lived in Peachtree Corners for over 20 years, and I have seen our community evolve significantly since I moved here. We experienced some downturns along with every other neighborhood when the real estate market crashed, but the community has undoubtedly thrived in the big picture. I think that most people are happy to call Peachtree Corners home.

Within miles of my house, I saw the construction of the Fowler YMCA and The Forum—two developments that have become vital to my life in Peachtree Corners. Although I was originally concerned about our green space getting developed, both establishments have contributed immensely to our community. At The Y, I have not only enjoyed my exercising routine, but I have met life-long friends in the process. The Forum has added several quality restaurants, all within walking distance from my house.

These two developments are among many new fixtures in our town. We have built more neighborhoods, private schools, and shopping centers—all in the name of progress and growth. For the most part, people seem content with the results so far.

Despite these developments, I am concerned about our future in Peachtree Corners. For the first time in 20 years, I have asked myself if I would be happier living in a different community. Furthermore, I have wondered if my business would perform better if we were not in Tech Park.

So much has changed in 20 years—the Internet didn’t even exist when I first moved to Peachtree Corners! We have managed to embrace change and innovation in the past, but we must make an effort to encourage continued prosperity in order to remain successful. Several high-profile companies have recently pulled up stakes and left the area, and others are considering moving as well. Unfortunately, many of these businesses are in the technology and financial industries, providing high-paying jobs.

While I want to ask these companies why they are leaving, I am afraid I already know the answer—young people do not want to live here. The top technology talent is the new generation that lives inside the perimeter. Yes, many young adults work in the suburbs, but given the option, they would prefer to work closer to their homes—in Buckhead, Decatur, and Brookhaven, just to name a few.

The companies in the Peachtree Corners area are competing for talent with organizations inside the perimeter that are a lot “cooler” (Is that even a word that young people still say?). Those companies have nearby neighborhoods where young adults want to live—not subdivisions full of five-bedroom houses and empty-nesters. After work, they can walk to bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks—a lifestyle that the suburbs simply cannot offer at this point.

I don’t know the solution just yet—it is certainly complex and will take many years to resolve. However, our community needs to act quickly in order to encourage a young, highly skilled workforce to want to be here. Our Baby Boomers are aging, and the community could suffer if we don’t attract a new generation soon.

In the meantime—does anyone know any great young people who want a high-paying job at Relus Technologies?

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2 comments

  1. Peachtree Corners, like other suburbs, needs to redevelop in ways that allow it to remain attractive and that includes recognizing the desires of young workers. Fortunately, the City of Peachtree Corners is working to put these pieces in place but it will take a while. Some existing residents need to reconsider old stereotypes and recognize that the word “apartments” is not necessarily a bad word. While there is much to like about Peachtree Corners, there is a lot of competition when it comes to places for businesses to locate. Thanks, Mark, for your observations and comments.

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  2. Great comments – and I agree that apartments and condos aren’t necessarily a bad thing. One unique thing about Peachtree Corners is the amount of office space (very high compared to others, due to Tech Park). Can Peachtree Corners turn into a modern live/work/play/shop/eat city? – time will tell.

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