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Photo courtesy Chaim Van Prooyen 




Established: 1845

Overall area: 343 km2 (Atlanta metropolitan area: 21,690 km2)

Population: 432,800



Area: Unknown

Program: Warehousing and distribution, printing, recycling

Urban form: Industrial district borders Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, with excellent highway access and room for expansion

Industrial typologies: Mix of small- to large-scale industrial facilities that are mainly classified as light manufacturing uses

Largest employers: Fresh Pack,  Royal Food Service (wholesale food distributors); Geographics, Vertis, Inc. (commercial printing services)

The Atlanta metro area is home to 5.5 million people, making it the largest city in the state of Georgia.  It is also part of the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the United States. A number of industrial districts have been developed around the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, one of the country’s busiest, to the south of the city.


Technically, these industrial sites are spread across three different municipalities: The city of Atlanta to the northeast of the airport, the city of Forest Park to the southeast, and the city of College Park to the west. Each municipality has a zoned cluster of industrial land; suburban subdivisions surround these clusters. The industrial sites have excellent highway access and are also served by a large rail yard, located in Forest Park. 

Location                                                             Relationship                                                     Infrastructure

The industrial land sits adjacent to Atlanta International Airport and is surrounded by suburban developments. These industrial facilities range from food to car manufacturing.


As noted, the industrial area itself is part of three different municipalities: Atlanta’s Southside Industrial District (SID), city of College Park and Forest Park. One of the planned manufacturing districts, the Southside Industrial Park, was recently opened and developed on a former brownfield site. 

In general, smaller parcels define the SID, with an overall layout that reflects a separation of uses by level of intensity. The heavy-industrial companies and highest traffic-generating uses can be found along the Browns Mill Road and Empire Boulevard. The Zip/Browns Mill/Empire area is less uniform, with smaller lots and irregular spacing between buildings.


The new Southside Industrial Park contains newer and uniformly larger light industrial lots while the Zip Industrial Boulevard is lined with a mixture of offices and other smaller-scale businesses.[1] Atlanta sits to the north of the SID, and is connected by the heavily used highways, interstates 75 and 258, as well as by rail and minor roads.






[1] Georgia Institute of Technology, School of City and Regional Planning. “A Plan for Industrial Land and Sustainable Industry in the City of Atlanta.” December 8, 2009. p.12

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