Alpharetta

The former farm community of Alpharetta has become one of Atlanta’s most popular — and populous — suburbs. Most of this growth has occurred in the past 25 years, with an influx of both residents and new businesses.

Alpharetta is home to working singles, families, and established professionals who seek the quiet of the country within a short drive of the city. Atlanta is just a half-hour away, providing all the amenities that a big city can offer. But Alpharetta has its own charms, including the Alpharetta Soda Shoppe and the old stores on Main Street. The city also offers easy accessibility via GA 400 to the Northpoint Mall and Gwinnett Mall.

Despite its former farm roots, Alpharetta is home to some of the most elite developments in metro Atlanta, including Foxworth, Thornhill and Windward. Crabapple and North Valley, to the west, are close to Wills Park and are perfect for the equestrian lifestyle. Another high-end development is Country Club of the South, a gated community that’s home to several sports stars, high-profile executives and celebrities.

Alpharetta is a hot market for commercial and residential real estate. Excellent schools, upscale shopping, and the laid-back country atmosphere combine to make this growing community a premier destination in the Atlanta area.

History

Alpharetta grew out of the New Prospect Camp Ground, which developed in the early 1800s near the North Georgia Mountains and the Chattahoochee River. Although the small village contained just a few tents and a log school, it became a thriving trading post where settlers and Indians exchanged goods. The surrounding farmland soon attracted cotton farmers and other growers who prized its rich soil.

New Prospect was chartered in 1857 and became the county seat of Milton County. The town eventually was renamed Alpharetta from the Greek words “alpha” meaning “first” and “retta” meaning “town.” In 1932, Milton County merged into Fulton County. Today, Alpharetta is the largest city in north Fulton County.

Population

From 1980 to 2000, the city’s population increased tenfold, from around 3,000 to more than 30,000 residents. Alpharetta currently has a population of 34,854, which is about one-sixth of the total population of north Fulton County. Because of Alpharetta’s large business community, that number swells to nearly 120,000 each workday.

In 1999, 29% of Alpharetta’s population was under age 20, and 9.8% were age 60 or over. Approximately 60% of the city’s households contain married couples, with nearly one-third of that number having related children living at home.

Homes & Pricing

From 1980 to 2000, Alpharetta’s housing units increased 1,125%, from 1,116 to 13,657. This housing boom accounts for 16% of the total housing units in north Fulton County.

The median house value in Alpharetta in 1999 was $119,269, about 30% higher than the Atlanta region’s median of $91,600, and 62.3% of Alpharetta’s houses are valued at $100,000 or more.

Education

Twenty-one public schools serve students in Alpharetta. The percentage of people 25 and older with a college degree was 36.94% in 1999.