Also, there are 3 super markets in West End (Kroger, Big Bear (fresh produce), Super Value (Next to Mall) and there is talk about a weekend Farmers Market (we'll see). Restaraunts are ok, but depends on your taste (Chantarelles, Soul Vegetarian, Taste of Caribbean, Gut Busters (Philly Cheese Steaks), Q-Time, Pizza Pie, other fast food types). There is one that is set to open in some Warehouse space on White St and I don't know what the hold up is with the Chicken & Waffles that was scheduled. There's more, but haven't been to them. Basically, if you want Thai, Italian, or Indian you'll have to hop in the car or on the train, but you won't have to go far.
West End's main Coffee shop has to be 'The Grounds' below Sky Lofts. Good coffee + Poetry reading + art selling + Comfy Sofas + Wi-Fi kind of place. Then you got Krispy Kreme (The kind with the conveyor belt) and a Dunkin Donuts.
Been here almost 4 years now and all-in-all I'm happy here. I don't expect things to change overnight, but honestly that doesn't bother me. I don't view it as a bad neighborhood. I've got good neighbors and I feel comfortable here.
There are concerned/involved neighbors (old and new) that value this community. Stop by a WEND meeting (West End Neighborhood Development) and hear what is happening. There is a quiet revitalization taking place here, one historic home at a time. Preservation is key in West End. Even new construction looks likes it's been there for 100 years. It is only a matter of time before revitalization is in full stride. There are only a handful of intown neighborhhoods that have 1870s Victorians - 1920s Craftsmen, brick sidewalks, and wide streets formerly traveled by trolly. The way I see it is it is just too beautiful a neighborhood and too close to Downtown to be overlooked for much longer. I have a feeling you already know these things, but just wanted to hear it from somebody else.
Lakewood Heights is nice if you want to live in a subdivision of new homes that is not integrated with the surrounding neighborhood. West End is for you if you want to live in a true urban environment in Atlanta's first Historic District with all of the advantages mentioned above. Hope this helps you in you decision. I now need to get back to scraping and painting my 1918 Craftsman Bungalow.
There are other upcoming areas of Atlanta that is in the process of revitalizing such as East Lake, Camp Creek, Mabelton, and the Cascade area. Once you have found a home have a market analysis done to see exactly what the neighborhood values are doing.
I think I'm that certain person Joshua was referring to - and I would have to say that if you are interested in the West End - do you want to be a part of the revitalization process? Because that is what it will take.
If you aren't handy and as in any Historic District you will be required (sort of like an HOA right) to maintain a certain standard - are you willing to dedicate the time to do so?
And YES there are other area's for you to consider - TON's in fact. But what is your true criteria? What is your family structure... What are your priorities?
I am here to do you a service - information on the web, or true service of finding the home you are actually looking for - for your own personal reasons. Whether it be investment for the future or tax incentives, or a combination of both.
Where you ultimately buy is up to you - but there is no crystal ball at this time to answer all your concerns: BUT I do have a website that keeps up with the goings on there:
try it out and let me know if it helps!
When a client doesn't know about a particular area, we need to break it down. Where are you going to work? What do you like to do? Is family nearby, etc. What's important in a home, what kind of home are you looking for... etc.
Historic districts are beautfiul but often require work. There are several cost effective places all over Metro Atlanta (I'm sure a certain trulia member will invite you an hour away from West End to her area as well), it would help to know in particular what drew you into West End and what you are looking for in a home, area and investment.
It sounds like your best bet is to contact the Historical Society in this area snd gather as much information as possible in order to try to answer "some" of your concerns. If you primary purpose is to re-sell, I'd certainly due as much due-dilligence as you can find the time for. On the other hand if your intent is to make this your home for many years to come, maybe you should consider getting involved in the redevelopment process by joining some comnmittees and getting involved with the community so you can have an imput as to the way the area is revitalized. Just a suggestion, hope it helps.
Insofar as finding an expert in this particular area, I'd contact the local Board of Realtors for a suggestion as to which Realtors work this area on a consistent basis and direct you questions to them. - Steve