Separated by Northside Drive, the Atlanta neighborhoods of Loring Heights and Berkley Park anchor the northern end of what some people refer to as “West Midtown.” The surrounding area might have changed drastically in the last 50 years, but this pair of quiet communities have held on to their original integrity quite well, thank you very much. First, a look at the advantages both of them share, and then we’ll take a quick glance at what sets them apart from one another. You’ll probably agree the Midtown moniker is not only incorrect, its unnecessary - Loring and Berkely can easily hold their own.
Both Loring Heights and Berkley Park have I-75 as their northern boundary, right after its upper split with I-85. Because of this, highway access is usually a breeze during non-rush hour times. Although in previous years the major amenity of LH and BP was their proximity to Buckhead and Midtown, residents have recently witnessed the reverse phenomenon: the west side of the highway has caught the attention of the rest of the city. First was the development of Atlantic Station a decade ago. In case you didn’t know, a festering steel mill was completely transformed into a sort of instant mini-city, complete with residences, offices, and shops. In the same period, the Westside has emerged as Atlanta’s creative center, with a growing number of galleries, design firms, and creative businesses and restaurants setting up shop in the vicinity. Of course, the area’s long been home to one of the premier centers of higher learning in the Southeast, Georgia Tech, making the neighborhoods attractive for students and educators.
Even though LH and BP tend to have similar real estate, there are differences. Berkley Park was developed earlier than Loring Heights, in the 1920s as opposed to the 1940s. BP sits in between busy Northside Drive and Howell Mill Road, while LH sits nestled next to the interstate and only has cut through traffic on Deering Road. A good portion of what’s technically Berkley Park is taken up by the Atlanta Water Works, which amazingly enough was open to fishers decades ago. Loring Heights has the upper hand when it comes to neighborhood recreation. Its park includes a pretty duck pond as well as an off-leash dog area. The topography of Loring Heights tends to be a little more scenic with its hills and rocky outcroppings. Also, the price point in LH reaches a higher level than Berkley Park. It’s been attractive for builders hungry for teardowns; there’s some especially interesting contemporary designs mixed in with the traditional 1940s cottages. Either way, both Loring Heights and Berkeley Park make compelling arguments for considering Atlanta’s Westside.