This may come as a surprise, but the tech scene is hot in Alpharetta, Georgia. With more than 600 tech-focused businesses, it is quite evident why they call it the “Technology City of the South.”
While startups like Decisely and Priority Payment Systems have their roots in Alpharetta, larger companies you may have heard of—e.g. HP and LexisNexis—are also benefitting by operating satellite offices in the city.
The tech sector is driving such growth in Alpharetta that in 2015, NerdWallet and Entrepreneur named the area the best small city to start a business. The report cited 15.07 business for every 100 people, and an average revenue of $6,908,899 per business.
The local government is all about that entrepreneurship, so to keep the momentum going, the city offers massive incentives to new businesses. Owners benefit from discounted permitting and inspection fees, revenue bonds and facade grants, among other things.
Big city opportunities, small city vibes
There’s a modernity about Alpharetta that extends beyond the scope of business. It’s also visible in the way of life. Take the city’s homes, for example – 91% were built in 1980 or later. And the area’s entertainment district is brand spankin’ new, too: Avalon, an upscale mixed-use development, opened its first phase in 2014 and the second in 2016. The 86-acre space features offices, residences, stores, restaurants and a movie theater. While we’re at it, let’s not forget about the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, where Keith Urban, Gwen Stefani and countless other stars regularly perform.
Here’s where Alpharetta gets interesting: Despite all of the growth and opportunity, it’s not that big of a city. According to 2010 Census data, the area only spans about 27 miles. So while the burgeoning tech scene might give off a larger city feel, Alpharetta’s small size is ideal to host more intimate, eclectic public events. For example, The Market at Matilda’s is a collective of unique artists/vendors, as well as a music venue. It’s considered a “one-of-a-kind experience.” Meanwhile, every Thursday from April to October, the city hosts a foodie’s paradise in Downtown Alpharetta – where six to eight food trucks serve food as attendees enjoy live music and games.
It seems like a paradox to enjoy big city opportunities in such a small market, but Alpharetta is proof that it’s possible to have the best of both worlds. As young professionals increasingly flock from urban city centers to the suburbs, it’s worth it for them to start exploring markets such as this one.
Quick hits: Alpharetta
Population: Some 62,298 residents live in Alpharetta, according to 2013 Census figures.
Home Values: The median price of homes currently listed in Alpharetta is $475,000, according to Zillow.
Transportation: Alpharetta is accessible by four major highways, including GA 400, HWY 9, HWY 120 and HWY 372. The city also has four MARTA routes that stop in Atlanta.
Education: Alpharetta is served by 13 elementary schools, six middle schools and seven high schools – all part of the Fulton County Public School System. Residents have access to an extensive network of private schools throughout the county as well.
Government: The city is governed by a mayor and six elected city council officers.
For sale in Alpharetta