The 1996 Summer Games breathed new life into Atlanta's once staid downtown, says Realtor Debra Johnston of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby's International Realty.
Johnston says construction of the downtown area's Centennial Olympic Park as a hub for the Games "took a totally urban, 9-to-5 environment and made it into live/work space. Now a whole bunch of
Centennial Park's fountains continue to attract residents and tourists alike, as do the later additions of the nearby Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola (KO) museum.Johnston says such facilities helped attract high-rise condos and loft space to the downtown area. "If we had never had the Olympics, it would have taken a lot longer to create that kind of live/work environment," she says. Realtor.com sees Atlanta's housing market as recovering nicely from the U.S. real estate bust. Median list prices rose 6.5% over the past year there to hit $170,000.