Economic development requires us to work closely with commercial property owners, business owners and developers to assure that all of our commercial districts are functioning at their highest and best use, contributing to the City’s tax base and helping us achieve the community’s vision and goals. We work to actively market our City, recruit new businesses and help existing businesses thrive. Our job is to match investors and business prospects with property owners to make sure that new developments meet our goals and that new businesses are a good match for community needs. We look for businesses that fill identified gaps in the tenant mix, complement existing businesses and generate traffic downtown. We also work to make sure that key buildings are occupied. We maintain current demographic information, analyze market forces and maintain a database of property owners and available properties. Having a solid plan and the necessary data to support business recruitment and commercial development allows us to take advantage of unanticipated opportunities.
The City’s economic development goals include encouraging a healthy mix of commercial, retail, restaurant and residential uses within our commercial districts. Ideally every neighborhood in Decatur will have access to retail and restaurant opportunities within easy walking distance and commercial districts are developed to encourage more pedestrian activity and less dependency on automobiles. Private businesses should exist along with government services, non-profit organizations, institutional uses, retail and restaurant uses and downtown residential options. A well designed commercial district is one in which pedestrian connections are easily made and reliance on automobiles is minimized. In order to be truly self sustaining, Decatur needs to focus on recruiting more commercial tenants into its commercial districts and increase employment opportunities within the City. However, the City also has good access to downtown Atlanta, Midtown, Emory and the Clifton Corridor employment centers via MARTA and the CCTMA shuttle and these locations will continue to be important job centers for our residents.
The City of Decatur is blessed with three distinct commercially zoned districts and several smaller pockets of properties that are zoned for neighborhood commercial use.
Downtown Decatur Business District
The traditional, historic commercial center of the City of Decatur is known as the Downtown Decatur Business district. Centered around the historic DeKalb County courthouse and the courthouse lawn, the downtown business district includes over 15 blocks of fine retail and restaurant options. Located north of the railroad tracks, the downtown business district is anchored on the western edge by the Decatur Post Office and on the eastern edge by the Ice House Loft project. The downtown district includes a collection of small retail and restaurant districts featuring over 45 fine restaurant selections and over 40 distinctive retailers. From the historic square to the West Ponce de Leon Corridor to the Old Depot District to the East Howard Avenue area, these various smaller districts are linked by an outstanding network of tree-lined streets that make walking and window-shopping a pleasant option.
Oakhurst Business District
This small neighborhood retail district once served as the commercial center of the City of Oakhurst before it was annexed into the City of Decatur in the 1920s. The Oakhurst Village, as it is often called, serves as the heart of the Oakhurst residential neighborhood and includes a delightful collection of unique restaurants and retailers adjacent to the historic Scottish Rite Hospital building. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Historic Scottish Rite has been renovated to include both an art gallery and commercial office space. The Oakhurst Business district is centered around the intersection of East Lake Drive and Oakview Road and is easily accessible from the downtown business district via South McDonough Street. A very pleasant and walkable district, the Oakhurst business district is surrounded by some of the City of Decatur's most outstanding historic neighborhoods.
College Avenue Corridor
The College Avenue Corridor is the most recent addition to the City of Decatur's retail and restaurant boom. Actually a collection of distinct neighborhood commercial districts that extend along College Avenue, the area offers everything from small gourmet restaurants to neighborhood pizza, corner pubs and more traditional retail. The eastern edge of the corridor is currently being developed as a new mixed use residential neighborhood with local retail and restaurant opportunities based upon a 20 year master plan adopted in 2002.
Location and Office Hours
509 N. McDonough Street, Decatur, GA 30030
Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
404-371-8386, FAX 404-371-1593