Mar 23, 2012
Updated November 2023
Georgia Tech provides housing for more than 8,000 students on campus, but what about the other 15,000? After living on campus for some time, many students seek a greater sense of independence and responsibility by moving off campus.
A common problem for students considering off-campus housing is finding the best place to live. Not everyone has the luxury of choosing from several great neighborhoods, but Tech students do. Regardless of which corner of the city you choose, be sure to weigh all of your options. There are many factors to consider, including roommates, utilities, monthly expenses, commute times, and parking fees.
Different areas will offer different benefits, but there are a few places worth investigating if you’re apartment hunting. Make sure you tour the entire property, and drive around the area at different times to see what it’s like early in the morning and late at night. Don’t settle on a place solely for its price and make safety and well-being top priorities.
Many apartment complexes close to campus are either partially or specifically for student living. Besides proximity, these places have the benefit of allowing residents to live among other students and sign individual leases while still sharing a space. A few popular options, which are not approved housing or endorsed housing by Georgia Tech, include:
Neighborhoods close to campus
Home Park: The closest neighborhood north of campus, Home Park is known for its large student population and affordable living. While it doesn’t offer much in the way of restaurants or shops, one can’t overlook the fact that it is home to Antico Pizza and Sublime Doughnuts, both favorites among students. Furthermore, it is close to Atlantic Station and Howell Mill Road, two vibrant commercial districts. If you’re on campus after dark, you can get a ride home from the Stingerette through the Safe Ride Home program.
Highlights: Antico (1093 Hemphill Ave. NW), Sublime Doughnuts (535 10th Street NW), Firehouse Subs (537 10th Street NW), Tannour Mediterranean Grill (398 14th Street NW).
Downtown and Centennial Place Apartments: Many students choose to live in Centennial Place because of its proximity to campus. Residents can easily walk or bike there, or to the bus stop at North Avenue Apartments, and the North Avenue MARTA station is nearby to get to other places in the city. Tech students will be in good company with students from Georgia State University, whose campus buildings dot the downtown area. For those who want to take advantage of attractions such as the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, or State Farm Arena, downtown makes it convenient to do so.
Highlights: Georgia Aquarium (225 Baker Street NW), World of Coca-Cola (121 Baker Street NW), CNN Center (190 Marietta Street NW), Skyview Atlanta (168 Luckie Street NW)
Midtown: Georgia Tech is in Midtown Atlanta, and it is relatively walkable to campus. Midtown is home to families, young couples, singles, and students alike. If you’re a runner, you’ll benefit from the proximity of Piedmont Park and its abundance of trails, including the BeltLine, which runs right along the park and through Ponce City Market. Midtown is also a good option for those who don’t own a car, since it’s close to MARTA, campus, and options for groceries and the like. Midtown has both apartment complexes (such as Marq on Ponce, Biltmore at Midtown, and Piedmont Park) as well as many apartments rented by smaller landlords (which are generally less expensive) for those not as particular about amenities. If you spend a lot of time in Tech Square, Midtown could be more convenient than living farther west, and apartment complexes on the border between Midtown and Tech Square include SQ5, UHouse, and The Standard at Atlanta.
Highlights: Fox Theatre (660 Peachtree Street NE), Woodruff's Art Center (1280 Peachtree Street NE), Publix (950 W. Peachtree Street NW), Ponce City Market (675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE), Atlanta Botanical Garden (1345 Piedmont Ave. NE), BeltLine access, MARTA access.
Westside: Atlanta’s Westside offers a handful of apartment complexes and small homes, both of which are ideal for students. The area is rapidly developing, with new restaurants and niche shops springing up on every corner. Though a boon to residents’ social lives, it also means increasing prices. The commute from Marietta Street is easier than ever on foot and bike thanks to the Path Parkway.
Highlights: Ormsby’s (1170 Howell Mill Road), West Egg (1100 Howell Mill Road).
Atlantic Station: Though Atlantic Station can be pricier than other off-campus options, it’s really close to campus and offers other benefits. Residents are within walking distance of the outdoor shopping mall, IKEA, movie festivals, an 18-screen movie theater, weekend sidewalk markets, and restaurants. Stinger buses travel to the south side of Atlantic Station — though not as frequently as they do on campus — providing a solid transportation option in a pinch.
Highlights: Regal Cinemas 18 (261 19th Street NW), Target (375 18th Street), California Pizza Kitchen (264 19th Street NW), IKEA (441 16th Street NW).
Virginia Highland: Just past Midtown to the east, many students frequent the Highlands for its restaurants, bars, and shops. The Highland is known for attracting twenty-somethings and offering lower rents. Though it will take a car, bike, or long walk to MARTA to get to campus, it offers plenty of entertainment options within walking distance. It's also home to multiple coffee shops for those who prefer such venues for studying.
Highlights: DBA Barbecue (1190 N Highland Ave.), Fontaine's Oyster House (1026 N Highland Ave. NE), La Tavola (992 Virginia Ave. NE), Paolo's Gelato (1025 Virginia Ave. NE),
Buckhead: Buckhead is an uptown district within the city of Atlanta, comprising over 100,000 residents. It is an upscale residential and commercial district with internationally renowned shopping and dining. Located approximately six miles (or just over nine kilometers) from Georgia Tech, Buckhead is a little farther from campus than other neighborhoods and thus requires using public transportation (MARTA) or a car. Buckhead features shopping centers and malls, hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs, and high-rise office buildings and condominiums.
Highlights: Le Colonial (3035 Peachtree Road NE), Lenox Square Mall (3393 Peachtree Road NE), Phipps Plaza (3500 Peachtree Road NE), Eclipse di Luna (764 Miami Circle).
Vinings: This unincorporated "village" is more common to families and younger working couples, making it quieter and more expensive. The nightlife may not be as exhilarating, but the area offers its own social scene with plenty of restaurants, shops, and parks to explore. It's not uncommon to find excellent festivals and fairs on the weekends.
Highlights: Cumberland Mall (2860 Cumberland Mall SE), South City Kitchen (1675 Cumberland Parkway), Mellow Mushroom (2950 New Paces Ferry Road), Bowl Lab (3621 Vinings Slope SE).
During your search, ask yourself these questions:
- How much is the monthly rent? Is a deposit required?
- Are furniture and utilities (including Wi-Fi) part of the rent?
- Is parking available and at what cost?
- What’s the distance to campus and/or work?
- How long is the lease?
- Is it an individual or group lease?
- Can you view a model apartment and take a tour before committing?
- Do you know someone who has lived there?
- Are pets allowed?
- Does the complex provide a roommate-matching service?
- What is the maintenance and repairs policy?
- Is there a policy for guest parking and staying overnight?
- Is the landlord easily accessible if something goes wrong?