Arguably one of Atlanta's most desirable areas due to its central location just south of Midtown, the Old Fourth Ward (O4W) has been an established neighborhood since the mid-1800s. Its name is reference to the neighborhood's historic administrative demarcations that were part of Atlanta's bygone ward system, which was phased out in the 1950s. The area has long been home to a mix of residents, most of them working class. It is not uncommon to encounter people that have been neighbors their whole lives sitting on their front porches and chatting back and forth.
However, in recent years the O4W has experienced an influx of urban pioneers and real estate developers who see potential in the area's central location. It is probably the most obvious case of gentrification in Atlanta, with all of the positive benefits (greenspace and renewal projects) and negative baggage (rising tax rates pushing out established residents) that come along with that label. There is an overwhelming feeling among long-time residents and newcomers alike that the neighborhood is on the cusp of major change and is beginning to experience a renaissance. As a result, the O4W has seen rapid growth and development over the past few years.
There is also a great diversity in the types of housing stock that make up the neighborhood. Historic shotgun houses and bungalows are situated side by side with new construction infill loaded with every imaginable upgrade. 1920s brick apartment buildings (some elegantly restored, others not so much) compete with cutting edge industrial lofts to attract singles and couples seeking an urban lifestyle with a neighborly vibe. There is still a sizeable proportion of low-income housing as well, making the Old Fourth Ward one of the most socioeconomically heterogeneous intown neighborhoods. Regardless of income level, skyline views are common and often quite breathtaking.
The O4W's biggest selling point is its central location and close proximity to downtown, as well as the variety and affordability of its homes. It is well-connected to public transportation and bordered by the proposed Beltline and is home to some of the best gourmet restaurants in town, along with quirkier neighborhood establishments that have been around for years. Growing numbers of homebuyers are discovering that the O4W is one of Atlanta's best kept secrets -- an affordable neighborhood with deep roots and a bright future.
Average price range for homes: $100K-$450K
Zip code(s): 30308, 30312