“I believe that we are on the cusp of getting to a very positive trend.”
Still, key economic markers indicate that Atlanta is struggling to regain its pre-eminent position as a Sunbelt leader.
Fewer people move here than before the recession, proportionately speaking, while more choose Dallas or Charlotte. Millennials —- the young adults considered a region’s creative lifeblood —- have turned their back on metro Atlanta.
Joel Kotkin, an urban expert at Chapman University in California: "Atlanta is one of the big Sunbelt cities of the last 20, 30 years that has really been eclipsed by others."
A.D. Frazier, chief operating officer of the Olympic Games: "I gave a speech to Atlanta Leadership last year and said, 'We were confronted with water, infrastructure and school problems 30 years ago and nothing happened." "When is the last time we built a new road? Or expanded MARTA? We find ourselves in a damn time warp."
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed: "Y'all need a therapist if your theory is that between 2012 and today we haven't been making significant progress on our problems." "No metropolitan economy in the Southeast has accomplished what we accomplished, which is why more and more businesses are choosing the metro Atlanta area."