Atlanta is the country's 11th largest metro area, with more than 4 million residents across 28 counties. The rapidly growing population is due to a dynamic job market and affordable cost-of-living in the heart of a national transportation hub and crossroads for international commerce. Atlanta's long-term economic prospects appear excellent for remaining the South's most important urban center. The largest concentration of growth in Metro Atlanta continues north of the central city in a widening arc. Higher income areas include Buckhead, Vinings, Alpharetta and Marietta.

Over the past half-century, regional malls assumed a significant role. The relatively recent introduction of the MARTA public transit system further strengthened access to major shopping centers in the region.

Historically, Rich's department store has been an integral component. Subsequent market entries by other retail names that are well regarded failed to dislodge this homegrown retailer's power or popularity. But recent industry acquisitions by Federated suggest a possible department store consolidation and brand repositioning of Rich's nameplate under Macy's banner.

To summarize: Simon Property Group's single ownership of both Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza reinforces these trophy properties as the best places to shop in the Southeast. Downtown is not able to sustain viable retail. Perimeter Mall, North Point Mall and Town Center at Cobb are in their prime. Stone Crest Mall, Arbor Place and Mall of Georgia are in growing neighborhoods. Cumberland Mall and Gwinnett Place are getting squeezed.

The information presented for traffic estimates and regional malls is gained from a variety of sources used in developing the Bieri Market Reports. These sources are public and private, and may even include the developers themselves. When traffic counts are not available, grades are determined by reviewing sales of anchor stores and specialty tenants within a subject project, and then comparing those with like projects.

ATLANTA
SHOPPING CENTER RANKING
Arbor Place C
Avenue East Cobb C+
Avenue Peachtree City C
Cumberland Mall C+
Discover Mills C
Greenbriar Mall D
Gwinnett Place C+
Lenox Square A
Mall of Georgia B-
Northlake Mall C-
North Point Mall B+
Peachtree Center D
Perimeter Mall B+
Phipps Plaza A-
Southlake Mall C+
Stone Crest Mall C+
Town Center at Cobb B-
Underground Atlanta D