Jimmy John's Order Now

The Lost City of Atlanta

Many Atlanta neighborhoods are being affected by gentrification and new housing projects are displacing long-term residents. Photo by Hannah Greco | The Signal

Atlanta’s gentrification has become an epidemic in recent years, with thousands of city dwellers citing it as the reason for their removal from city limits. With the influx of new, high-income residents, the waves of wealth and remodeling have successfully drowned Atlanta as it had been known.

As a current freshman at Georgia State, I have come to realize that I will never know the Atlanta that our historical buildings and back alleys were built upon. What bones of Atlanta are scattered down back streets serve as an eerie warning of what the future may hold.

The Downtown campus is stretched thin across metro Atlanta. The university’s blue footprint can be seen from almost any single point in the city and stands as one of the largest campuses in Georgia.

While previously opening as a commuter school, Georgia State has since built a great deal of on-campus housing. As students inside and outside of Atlanta move into its dorms and attend classes, concerns begin to rise about how Georgia State is changing Atlanta in a way they do not condone. With the sale of Turner Field, the surrounding area was set to become apartment living for students, increasing the cost of living for current residents. 

In 2016, student organizations demanded an answer as to what would happen to the displaced, calling on the president of the university to answer the cries of people speaking for those being ignored. The disparaging nickname “Gentrification State University” is a recognition of Georgia State’s contribution to the gentrification crisis.

More recently, Georgia State’s Kell Hall was demolished to create a green space for students, also coming under criticism. The wound of 2016 was reopened for debate, bringing students to the discussion table on how Georgia State is failing them and their ability to remain on campus. 

Malik Tann, a student at Georgia State, reached out to me about not only his concerns but what course of action he would like to see. As chairman of the Political Legislative Committee of the Young Democrats of Georgia, Tann hopes to bring his concern to public office someday. 

“I hate seeing my home town losing its identity due to people with more money choosing to live wherever they want,” Tann said. “As capitalistic as America can be, how can we put such limits on people with their money? Especially when it comes to housing.” 

Jimmy John's Order Now
Jimmy John's Order Now

Tann hopes to see regulations put into place to help protect Atlanta’s population from being removed from their homes.

As luxury apartment living begins to overtake Georgia State’s campus, more students like Tann begin to come out of the woodworks. The students at Georgia State are beginning to move toward action and outcry, stuck between a rock and a hard place in increasingly affluent Atlanta. College students and Atlanta natives alike are fleeing the city limits in order to keep a roof over their heads while others are able to sip wine on sky lounges looking over what is becoming the lost city of Atlanta.