Smyrna, Georgia

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Smyrna, Georgia
City
Smyrna City Hall
Smyrna City Hall
Motto: "The jonquil city with beautiful parks, thriving businesses, great locations, and bright plans for the future"
Location in Cobb County and the state of Georgia
Location in Cobb County and the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 33°52′19″N 84°31′6″W / 33.87194°N 84.51833°W / 33.87194; -84.51833Coordinates: 33°52′19″N 84°31′6″W / 33.87194°N 84.51833°W / 33.87194; -84.51833
Country United States
State Georgia
County Cobb
Government
 • Mayor Max Bacon
Area
 • Total 15.4 sq mi (39.9 km2)
 • Land 15.4 sq mi (39.8 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 1,060 ft (323 m)
Population (2013 est.)
 • Total 53,438
 • Density 3,481/sq mi (1,343.9/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 770/678/470
FIPS code 13-71492[1]
GNIS feature ID 0356541[2]
Website www.smyrnacity.com

Smyrna is a city in Cobb County, Georgia, United States, northwest of Atlanta and the Chattahoochee River. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 51,271.[3] The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population in 2013 to be 53,438.[4] It is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA MSA, which is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, GA-AL CSA.

History[edit]

Pioneers began settling the area in 1832. By the late 1830s, a religious encampment called Smyrna Camp Ground had become a popular travel destination and was well known throughout Georgia. After the completion of the Western and Atlantic Railroad in 1842 the area began to grow. It was known by several names until 1872 – Varner's Station, Ruff's Siding, Neal Dow and Ruff's Station. The city was incorporated with the name Smyrna in 1872.[citation needed]

Two Civil War battles occurred in the area, the Battle of Smyrna Camp Ground on July 3, 1864, and the Battle of Ruff's Mill the next day. The area's businesses, homes and 1849 covered bridge (since rebuilt and still in use today) were burned by Sherman's troops.

The city elected its first woman mayor, Lorena Pace Pruitt, in 1946.[citation needed]

The nearby Bell Bomber plant that produced B-29 bombers during World War II was reopened by Lockheed in 1951 and became a catalyst for growth. The city's population grew during the next two decades, from 2,005 in 1950 to almost 20,000 by 1970.

The restaurant scene in the film Joyful Noise was shot at Howard's Restaurant in Smyrna in 2011.[5]

Geography[edit]

Street map of Smyrna

Smyrna is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area, located about 1 mile (1.6 km) northwest of the Atlanta city limits, and with Smyrna's downtown about 10 miles (16 km) from downtown Atlanta. Smyrna is located just west of the northern intersection of I-285 and I-75, which is the site of Cumberland and the Cobb Galleria. Smyrna is also near Vinings, Marietta, Mableton, Sandy Springs and the Buckhead district of Atlanta.

The center of Smyrna is located at 33°52′19″N 84°31′06″W / 33.871854°N 84.518380°W / 33.871854; -84.518380.[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.4 square miles (39.9 km2), of which 15.4 square miles (39.8 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.23%, is water.[3] The general terrain of the area is characteristic of the Piedmont region of Georgia, characterized by hills with broad ridges, sloping uplands, and relatively narrow valleys. The center of Smyrna sits at an altitude of about 1,060 feet (320 m) above sea level.

Flora[edit]

The city's official symbol is the jonquil (a flower). Known as the "Jonquil City", it derives this name from the thousands of jonquils that flourish in gardens and along the streets in early spring.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Smyrna, GA
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 79
(26)
80
(27)
89
(32)
93
(34)
97
(36)
102
(39)
105
(41)
104
(40)
102
(39)
95
(35)
84
(29)
79
(26)
105
(41)
Average high °F (°C) 52
(11)
57
(14)
65
(18)
73
(23)
80
(27)
86
(30)
89
(32)
88
(31)
82
(28)
73
(23)
64
(18)
54
(12)
71.9
(22.3)
Average low °F (°C) 34
(1)
38
(3)
44
(7)
52
(11)
60
(16)
68
(20)
71
(22)
71
(22)
65
(18)
54
(12)
45
(7)
37
(3)
53.3
(11.8)
Record low °F (°C) −8
(−22)
−9
(−23)
10
(−12)
25
(−4)
37
(3)
39
(4)
53
(12)
55
(13)
36
(2)
28
(−2)
3
(−16)
0
(−18)
−9
(−23)
Precipitation inches (mm) 4.20
(106.7)
4.83
(122.7)
4.81
(122.2)
3.36
(85.3)
3.67
(93.2)
3.95
(100.3)
5.27
(133.9)
3.90
(99.1)
4.47
(113.5)
3.41
(86.6)
4.10
(104.1)
3.90
(99.1)
49.87
(1,266.7)
Source: [7]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 259
1890 416 60.6%
1900 238 −42.8%
1910 599 151.7%
1920 791 32.1%
1930 1,178 48.9%
1940 1,440 22.2%
1950 2,005 39.2%
1960 10,157 406.6%
1970 19,157 88.6%
1980 20,312 6.0%
1990 32,453 59.8%
2000 40,999 26.3%
2010 51,271 25.1%

As of 2010 census, there were 51,271 people with 25% growth since 2000. There were 23,002 households. The population density was 3,300 people per square mile (1,300/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 53% White, 31% African American, 0.4% Native American, 4% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 6% from other races, and 3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14% of the population.

The population was distributed by age as follows: 22.6% under the age of 18, 18.8% from 18 to 29, 20% from 30 to 39, 14.9% from 40 to 49, 14.2% from 50-64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 92.2 males.

As of 2011, 52.6% of Smyrna residents live in families with an average of 2.2 people per household.

Government[edit]

Municipal[edit]

Max Bacon is the mayor of Smyrna.[8]

The city operates the Smyrna Public Library.

Elections[edit]

The city was a longtime stronghold for traditional, small-town, conservative Southern Democrats.[citation needed] It is now seen as a largely Republican district, located inside a strong Democratic enclave with a growing minority population (South Cobb), located in a predominantly Republican county (Cobb County).[citation needed] As a result, although local officials are nonpartisan, state and federal representation is fairly evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.[citation needed]

Economy[edit]

Personal income[edit]

The median income for a household in the city for 2011 was $49,556, a 4% increase from 2000 and $3,549 over the Georgia average. The per capita income for the city was $34,439, a 24.7% increase from 2000. About 6.7% of families and 12.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.2% of Hispanics.

Industry[edit]

The Atlanta Bread Company has its headquarters in Smyrna.[9]

Companies with an office include Eaton Corporation and IBM. Smyrna was the site of the corporate offices of the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling.

Top employers[edit]

According to the City's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:[10]

# Employer # of Employees
1 UCB 575
2 IBM 566
3 United Distributors 550
4 Emory-Adventist Hospital at Smyrna 499
5 Ridgeview Institute 440
6 S.P. Richards 423
7 City of Smyrna 384
8 Bake One 350
9 Publix 210
10 Glock 209

Construction[edit]

[dated info]

Private projects[edit]

Market Village

In 1991, the city began a community redevelopment project known as "Market Village," in order to create a well-defined downtown. Included were a community center and 28,000-square-foot (2,600 m2) public library. A mixed retail and residential district was modeled after an early 1900s city village, including a square with a fountain. This, and other expansions have revitalized the downtown area. Further redevelopment has occurred throughout the city—including thousands of new homes - mostly cluster homes, townhouse and condo communities replacing older neighborhoods.[11][12] The population has risen as a result of redevelopment, a few annexations, and Smyrna's location as a residential suburb in the Northwest center of metro Atlanta.[13][14]

There is additional mixed retail/residential/office redevelopments around the "Market Village". Ground was broken in Jonquil Village, a redevelopment of Jonquil Plaza at the corner of Spring and Atlanta Road across from "Market Village". However, this development stalled due to banks withdrawing funding during the nationwide real estate crash of 2007

Less than a .5 miles (0.80 km) down, the city intends to redevelop the Belmont Hills plaza, at the corner of Windy Hill and Atlanta Road in 2011. Both these villages, like "Market Village" in Smyrna, and "Market Square" in Vinings are designed to resemble a city village of yesteryear with fountains and antique street lamps. In 2011, Halpern Enterprises, the developer, sold some land to the city of Smyrna for an elementary school called the New Smyrna Elementary, which has completed construction.[15] In 2012, Halpern rezoned the property but didn't change its intended use. It moved residential from a multi-story building in one section of the development to apartment residential by itself in a larger and previously empty section of the development (pod F) due to market constraints in the only slowly warming housing market, leaving the earlier section available for any use in the future.[16][17][18]

Belmont Hills lot plan
Belmont Hills pod F apartments

A Kroger plaza (Known as "The Crossings") has been built at the corner of Concord Road and South Cobb Drive with some planned two-story outparcels. This is actually a re-development of an older blighted strip-mall. The Kroger located there is one of the largest in the country, at 93,000 square feet (8,600 m2).[19][20][21]

Additional re-development is going on throughout the city, including the site at the corner of East-West Connector / Cumberland Parkway and South Cobb Drive. A shopping center with one of the first Sprouts Farmers Market organic grocery stores East of the Mississippi river is planned. Two outparcels have already been developed.[22]

Public projects[edit]

Some additional work is being done in Smyrna are streetscape beautification projects, including a linear park on Concord Road along with new signage, lights, and a median on Atlanta Road.[23][24] Additional parkland projects are the 12-acre (4.9 ha) Taylor-Brawner Park, Riverview Road trail and Silver Comet Trail extensions in that area.

Education[edit]

Smyrna is served by Cobb County Public Schools. Public Elementary Schools in Smyrna include King Springs, Teasley, Arygle, Nickajack, and Smyrna Elementary School. Campbell Middle School and Griffin Middle School are the two public schools that feed into Campbell High School, a magnet school for the IB Program, is in the city.[citation needed]

Recreation[edit]

Some extensions of the Silver Comet Trail have been built further into Smyrna to expand access to the trail.[25][26]

"Market Village" in the city center often has open-air concerts and festivals. There are also various small parks throughout the city, including public pools, tennis courts and playgrounds and a linear park with walking trail along Spring Road.

Transportation[edit]

Several major roadways, such as I-285, Cobb Parkway (U.S. Route 41), Atlanta Road (Old State Route 3), and South Cobb Drive (State Route 280), pass through the municipality.

Smyrna is served by Cobb Community Transit public buses.

Notable people[edit]

Notables from the area include U.S. Representative Bob Barr, historian and author Jeff Clemmons, Atlanta Brave Ron Gant, and actress Julia Roberts.

References[edit]

External links[edit]