Decatur teardowns: the data

Atlanta alt-weekly Creative Loafing on June 26, 2014 reported on Decatur teardowns. There was a lot missing from the CL article — including some critical thought by its author. Freelancer John Ruch appears to have taken at face value everything Decatur city officials told him about teardowns in the city. One passage really caught my eye:

City officials have learned that infill housing is consuming roughly 50 older houses and an uncertain number of trees a year.

Fifty? Citywide? Scroll through this site to compare the city’s numbers with the teardowns documented in one area — Oakhurst — less than a quarter of the city’s overall footprint. This site does not include all pop-tops and partial teardowns recorded in Oakhurst between October 2011 and June 2014 but this excerpt from my spreadsheet on them does.


Oakhurst teardowns, Oct. 2011 through June 2014. The one 2010 datapoint reflects a house demolished in 2010 and constructed on the new home completed in 2011.

As for getting into the weeds on what is being built in Decatur, here’s a chart showing the square footages of homes torn down and the new homes that replaced them. The data show that the new homes often are 2-3 larger than the original homes. And, they are larger than the average developer-built home in the Southern U.S. (2,968 sq. ft.), according to census data.



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