Metro Atlanta is home to the third-most Fortune 500 companies in the nation. But among giants like Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Chick-fil-A, Home Depot and AT&T Wireless, United Parcel Service — ranked 41st on the Fortune 500 — often gets overlooked.
UPS employs more than 16,000 throughout the metro area, with more than half located at Big Brown's headquarters in Sandy Springs. Those figures make UPS the sixth-largest employer overall in Metro Atlanta and suburban Atlanta's largest consumer business employer.
The UPS World Headquarters sits in the suburban corporate hotbed of Sandy Springs, Atlanta's second-largest suburb (behind only the recently-created South Fulton). The complex lies just off of U.S. Route 19/State Route 400 (the Turner McDonald Parkway) at the northwest corner of the Perimeter Center edge city business district, north of the Interstate 285 Perimeter beltway. Thousands of UPS workers travel here every day, many from apartment buildings and complexes around the city and suburbs.
For these rental commuters, the length and value of their commute are among the most critical factors in deciding where to take up a lease. So, when factoring distance from work, drive time and the worth of office-convenient living, which are the best apartments in Atlanta for UPS World Headquarters employees?
The UPS World Headquarters at 55 Glenlake Parkway NE lays outside Atlanta's busy Perimeter loop and away from the crush of the Downtown Connector. But Perimeter Center's expansive mall, numerous shopping plazas and big box stores and dozens of office complexes and campuses, including the Concourse at Landmark Center and the Ravinia Drive high-rises, create rush-hour congestion that rivals the big city at times.
Due to its suburban location, over the course of an entire day, the ideal fastest commute time to UPS World Headquarters measures about 18 minutes and 45 seconds at the fastest average driving speed of just more than 42 miles per hour.
Workers coming from as far south as Buckhead and as north as Roswell can expect an ideal best commute time of less than 15 minutes, and employees living in the clusters around the Connector and I-75 to the west and the Connector and State Route 141 (Peachtree Industrial Boulevard) to the east can hope for a 20-minute best commute. Downtowners are looking at a minimum of a half-hour.
These numbers obviously increase as speeds decrease closer to rush hour. But even as both the employee and permanent population increase in the edge city of Sandy Springs, peak times can still remain reasonable for those not needing to travel the crush of the Downtown Connector and farther points along the Perimeter.
For UPS staff that find themselves within that green commute zone, rush hour times can remain low, even in a city where commuters spend nearly two hours on the road each day to and from work.
If you're a UPS worker and looking for an apartment, you must make a choice between a property close to work among the Perimeter Center suburban malls and business district shopping centers and the trendy nightlife and bustle of Midtown or Buckhead.
There are benefits to both sides, but with a convenient MARTA ride into the city, those 10 trips to and from work a week become much easier with a convenient apartment building. Luckily, there are a slew of apartment options in delivery distance from UPS World Headquarters.
The Sandy Springs area offers a number of rental properties, 10 of which sit about six-to-nine minutes from the UPS campus. Renting a unit in one of these apartment buildings and complexes would save a commuter to Big Brown between 11 and 14 minutes' ideal commuting time more than his or her average UPS colleague and a great deal more during rush hour.
The 550 Abernathy Apartments, just around Glenlake Parkway off Abernathy Road southwest of UPS, and Park at Abernathy Square, a bit to the northwest of UPS on Roswell Road, are the top two time-savers — the only two properties that offer savings of more than 14 minutes.
|Rank||Name of Property||Time Saved During Commute|
|1||550 Abernathy Apartments||14.4 mins|
|2||Park at Abernathy Square||14.4 mins|
|3||IMT Sandy Springs||13.4 mins|
|4||1160 Hammond Apartments||12.4 mins|
|5||Square One||12.4 mins|
|6||Citizen Perimeter||12.2 mins|
|7||Wesley St James||12.1 mins|
|8||Modera Sandy Springs||12.0 mins|
|9||Avia At North Springs Apartment Homes||11.9 mins|
|10||Flats at Perimeter Place||11.7 mins|
If you choose one of these Sandy Springs apartments to stay geographically close to work at UPS, you'll go very far in slashing your commute time. But point-to-point distance and average in-car time to the office aren't the only methods of choosing where to rent. In addition to travel time and proximity, you must also consider the overall value of your commute time savings when deciding on signing a lease to a new home.
If there is, for example, a perfect apartment just four minutes away renting for $1,500 a month, but also one that's nine minutes away but $500 less, the slightly more distant apartment is the better rental value per commute minute saved.
When the value of the property's commute time is calculated, which Metro Atlanta apartments have the best ratio of rent to commute minutes saved for UPS workers? To determine an answer, we calculated how much slower or faster the commute time to UPS headquarters is for each individual Atlanta-area apartment building, complex or property relative to the overall average for all employees at UPS, then divided that number by each property's monthly rent for an average two-bedroom unit. That figure is how much that employee would be shelling out for in exchange for the saved commuting time.
Of the 10 Atlanta/Sandy Springs-area properties that are the best value per minute saved near Big Brown, only three also appear on the above list of most commute time saved, which reveals a high disconnect between distance and value. However, of those three, the top two best value properties are also the top two in driving time saved.
|Rank||Name of Property||Average 2BR Rent||Time Saved During Commute||Rent per Commute Minute Saved|
|1||Park at Abernathy Square||$1,357.00||14.4 mins||$94.41|
|2||550 Abernathy Apartments||$1,401.00||14.4 mins||$97.47|
|3||The Harrison at Sandy Springs||$1,258.00||11.4 mins||$110.61|
|4||The Cascade at Morgan Falls||$1,169.00||10.4 mins||$112.69|
|5||Morgans Landing||$1,325.00||11.4 mins||$116.50|
|6||Azalea Park at Sandy Springs||$1,070.00||8.9 mins||$120.59|
|7||Wesley St James||$1,464.00||12.1 mins||$120.76|
|8||Waters Edge||$1,160.00||9.4 mins||$123.76|
|9||The Edgewater at Sandy Springs||$1,230.00||9.4 mins||$131.22|
|10||KRC Alderwood Trails||$972.00||6.6 mins||$146.76|
With all factors combined, what's the best apartment in Atlanta for UPS World Headquarters workers?
For UPS Atlanta employees, the most distance-convenient properties are 550 Abernathy Apartments and the Park at Abernathy Square. Each is just four minutes away by car at rush hour, compared to an average rush-hour commute time for all UPS workers of a whopping 41 minutes at a speed of just 14.4 mph, a 37-minute savings.
And even measured over the course of an average day-long commute, those apartments still offer a savings of 14 minutes over all UPS employees, remaining just a four-minute commute compared to 18 minutes for all Big Brown apartment commuters, at a speed of 19.5 mph without traffic congestion.
But when you factor in average rents and determine the assessment of distance and lease pricing together, The Park at Abernathy Square stands ahead as our top-rated apartment for overall commuter value. At this property, an average two-bedroom unit rents for $1,357 a month with a 14-minute, full-day driving time savings.
This makes The Park at Abernathy Square our top choice for UPS headquarters Atlanta/Sandy Springs commuters looking for the best combination of commute time saved and affordable rent.
The rent information included in this article is based on March 2020 multifamily rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com and is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.