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The Largest Selection of Wholesale Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products in Atlanta

When it comes to trying new, exciting cuisine, few foods hit the spot like a deliciously fresh Mediterranean meal. However, we know that it can be very difficult to find authentic Mediterranean grocery wholesalers in Atlanta, GA. Having lived in metro Atlanta for years, we realized that our customers needed an easy way to find quality wholesale Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in bulk. That is why we created Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market - to give everyone a chance to enjoy tasty, healthy food, desserts, and authentic Mediterranean gifts at wholesale prices.

Founded in 2009, Nazareth Grocery has become one of Atlanta's leading international wholesale grocery stores. We are very proud to serve our customers and do everything in our power to give them the largest selection of high-quality wholesale goods available.

If you're looking for the freshest, most delicious Middle Eastern wholesale products and ingredients, you will find them here at the best prices in the state. We encourage you to swing by our store in Marietta to see our selection for yourself. We think that you will be impressed!

The Nazareth Difference

At Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market, our mission is simple: bring you and your family the largest selection of wholesale Mediterranean products in Atlanta. When coupled with our helpful, friendly staff and authentic Middle Eastern atmosphere, it's easy to see why we are the top Middle Eastern grocery wholesaler in Atlanta, GA. We're proud to carry just about every kind of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern product that you can think of, from prepared meals and hookahs to fine seasonings and sweets. We're here for our customers and want each one of them to have a unique, one-of-a-kind experience when they shop with us.

Our loyal customers love our selection of the following wholesale foods and gifts:

  • Fresh Breads
  • OlivesOlives
  • HummusHummus
  • CheesesCheeses
  • SaucesSauces
  • Savory-FoodsSavory Foods
  • DessertsDesserts
  • DrinksDrinks
  • HookahsHookahs
  • TobaccoTobacco
  • SaucesGifts
  • Much More!Much More!

Our Service Areas

Most Popular Wholesale Mediterranean Foods

There is so much more to Mediterranean food than pizza and pasta. The perfect climate combined with delicious foods and amazing wine makes the Mediterranean incredibly irresistible. That's why our customers absolutely love to buy this kind of cuisine in bulk. Every country in this region has its own set of specialties and delicacies, each with its own flavors and styles of preparation.

Mediterranean countries include:

  • France
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Turkey
  • Syria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Tunisia
  • Spain
Mediterranean Grocery Atlanta, GA

So, when it comes to the most popular wholesale Mediterranean products in Atlanta,
what are we talking about?

 Mediterranean Supermarkets Atlanta, GA

Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is a classic Mediterranean dairy product that is often enjoyed on its own, in Greek salads, on bread, or mixed with zucchini. Depending on where the feta is sourced and produced, the cheese can be made from cow, sheep, or goat milk, or even a combination of the three. Regardless of the animal it comes from, this delicious cheese is a crowd favorite.

 Mediterranean Grocery Store Atlanta, GA

Baba Ganoush

This Levantine dish is one of the most well-known Mediterranean dishes to eat in the United States. It typically comes in the form of a dip, served with pita or another kind of dipping bread. Commonly served before dinner as an appetizer of sorts, it usually features tahini, eggplant, garlic, spices, and sometimes yogurt. This tasty cuisine works great as a spread on a sandwich, or you can even eat it with a spoon, all on its own.

 Middle Eastern Grocery Atlanta, GA


If you have never tried authentic baklava before, get ready to have your mind blown. This dessert is a traditional Mediterranean food that will have your taste buds craving more and more. Once you open a box of baklava from our Mediterranean grocery wholesaler in Atlanta, GA, you won't want to stop eating! Baklava is made with layers of thin filo dough, which is layered together, filled with chopped nuts (think pistachios), and sealed with honey or syrup. Baklava is so good that its origins are debated, leaving many wondering which country invented the dessert. Everyone from the Turks to the Greeks and even Middle Easterners hold unique takes on baklava. Try each one to discover your favorite!

Most Popular Wholesale Middle Eastern Foods

Fresh, healthy, aromatic, rich: it's no wonder that the popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine and products has skyrocketed in the United States. This genre of cuisine features a large variety of foods, from Halvah to Labneh. If there were one common theme throughout all Middle Eastern food, it would be the bright, vibrant herbs and spices that are used. These flavorings help create rich, complex flavors that foodies fawn over. Typically, Middle Eastern food is piled high for all to eat, with enough food for an entire republic to put down.

 Mediterranean Food Stores Atlanta, GA


This refreshing, healthy dish is chock-full of greens, herbs, tomatoes, and bulgur (or cracked wheat), creating a memorable, bold flavor. This dish may be eaten on its own or paired with a shawarma sandwich or helping of falafel. It's best to buy your ingredients in bulk to make this dish because it tastes best freshly made with family around to enjoy. Just be sure to bring a toothpick to the tabbouleh party - you're almost certain to have some leafy greens stuck in your teeth after eating.

 Middle Eastern Market Atlanta, GA


We mentioned shawarma above, and for good reason - this dish is enjoyed by men and women around the world, and of course, right here in the U.S. Except for falafel, this might be the most popular Middle Eastern food item in history. Shawarma is kind of like a Greek gyro, with slow-roasted meat stuffed in laffa with veggies and sauce. The blend of spices and the smoky meat mix together to create a tangy, meaty flavor that you will want to keep eating for hours. For western-style shawarma, try using beef or chicken. For a more traditional meal, try using lamb from our Middle Eastern grocery distributor in Atlanta, GA.

 Greek Grocery Store Atlanta, GA


Traditionally used as a dip meant for fresh pita, hummus is a combo of chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, blended together until silky, smooth, and creamy. You can find hummus in just about any appetizer section of a Middle Eastern restaurant menu. That's because it's considered a staple of Middle Eastern food that can be enjoyed by itself, as a spread, or with fresh-baked pita bread. Hummus is also very healthy, making it a no-brainer purchase from our grocery store.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

If there's one diet that is most well-known for its health benefits, it has got to be the Mediterranean diet. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report listed the Mediterranean diet as No. 1 on its best over diet list. This incredible diet has been cited to help with weight loss, brain health, heart health, diabetes prevention, and cancer prevention.

Whether you already love Mediterranean food or you're looking to make some positive changes in your life, this "diet" is for you. Eating cuisine like Greek food, Persian food, Turkish food, and Italian food is healthy and tastes great. Even better than that? At Nazareth Wholesale Grocery, we have many staples of the Mediterranean diet for sale in bulk so that you can stock up on your favorites at the best prices around.

So, what exactly is the Mediterranean diet?

It is a way of eating that incorporates traditional Greek, Italian, and other Mediterranean cultures' foods. These foods are often plant-based and make up the foundation of the diet, along with olive oil. Fish, seafood, dairy, and poultry are also included in moderation. Red meat and sweets are only eaten in moderation, not in abundance. Mediterranean food includes many forms of nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish, seeds, and more. Of course, you can find at them all at our wholesale Mediterranean grocery store!

Here are just a few of the many benefits of eating a healthy Mediterranean diet:

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Reduced Risk
of Heart Disease

Many studies have been conducted on this diet, many of which report that Mediterranean food is excellent for your heart. Some of the most promising evidence comes from a randomized clinical trial published in 2013. For about five years, researchers followed 7,000 men and women around the country of Spain. These people had type 2 diabetes or were at a high risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants in the study who ate an unrestricted Mediterranean diet with nuts and extra-virgin olive oil were shown to have a 30% lower risk of heart events.

Reduced Risk of Stroke for Women

Reduced Risk
of Stroke for Women

In addition to the heart-healthy benefits of a Mediterranean diet, studies have shown that eating healthy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods can reduce the chances of stroke in women. The study was conducted in the U.K., which included women between the ages of 40 and 77. Women who stuck to the Mediterranean diet showed a lower risk of having a stroke - especially women who were at high risk of having one.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

First and foremost, purchase your Mediterranean and Middle Eastern wholesale foods from Nazareth Grocery - we're always updating our inventory! Getting started on this healthy, delicious diet is easy.

Try these tips:

Try these tips


Instead of unhealthy sweets like candy and ice cream, try eating fresh fruit instead. It's refreshing, tasty, and often packed with great vitamins and nutrients.


Try eating fish twice a week, in lieu of red meat. Fish is much healthier and doesn't have the unfortunate side effects of red meat, like inflammation.


Try planning out your meals using beans, whole grains, and veggies. Don't start with meats and sweets.


They're tasty, but try to avoid processed foods completely.


Instead of using butter to flavor your food, use extra virgin olive oil instead. Olive oil contains healthy fats and tastes great too.


Try to get more exercise and get out of the house. The Mediterranean lifestyle is an active one, best enjoyed in the beautiful sunshine when possible.

Why Buy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products Wholesale?

Buying wholesale and retail are quite different. When you buy products from a wholesaler, you're essentially buying from the middleman between a retail establishment and the manufacturer. Wholesale purchases are almost always made in bulk. Because of that, buyers pay a discounted price. That's great for normal buyers and great for business owners, who can sell those products to profit. This higher price is called the retail price, and it is what traditional customers pay when they enter a retail store.

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 Middle Eastern Store Atlanta, GA

Latest News in Atlanta, GA

Did Desmond Ridder do enough to remain the Falcons' starting QB?

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- He had four starts, and the question remains: Is that enough of a sample to evaluate the potential future of quarterback Desmond Ridder?Yes, there were weeks upon weeks of practice to look at, too. There was development unseen by anyone except those who watched practice, but still, is that enough? In what Ridder did in those four games for the ...

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- He had four starts, and the question remains: Is that enough of a sample to evaluate the potential future of quarterback Desmond Ridder?

Yes, there were weeks upon weeks of practice to look at, too. There was development unseen by anyone except those who watched practice, but still, is that enough? In what Ridder did in those four games for the Atlanta Falcons, was there any type of full answer to whether he can be the starting quarterback in 2023 and beyond for the Falcons, or someone who ends up as a stopgap?

The answer might not yet be known, but by the end of April there will be a much clearer understanding of how the Falcons view Ridder based on other moves they make.

So far? He’s done enough to at least remain prominently in the conversation.

“We are certainly encouraged by the progress that he’s made,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said. “But there is a lot of work ahead of us before we are ready to declare anything like that right now.”

The good? Ridder improved in every game he played -- the Falcons were 2-2 with him as a starter, winning home games against Arizona and Tampa Bay and losing on the road to New Orleans and Baltimore.

The Saints, Buccaneers and Ravens were all in the top half of the league in defensive efficiency, in the top 13 in points allowed per game and the top 10 in total defense. The Saints and Bucs were also top 10 pass defenses.

In his four games as the starter, the Falcons had only two penalties that could be considered operational or procedural -- a false start against the Saints and an illegal shift against Baltimore. From an operational perspective, Ridder was basically clean.

From Weeks 15-18, which is when he started, Ridder was No. 14 in QBR (49.7). He didn’t throw an interception -- only Ridder and Jared Goff were without an interception in that span. His 63.5% completion rate was right at the league average.

He was blitzed 38.5% of the time, and he completed 63.6% of passes -- No. 13 in the NFL, ahead of Joe Burrow, Josh Allen and Kirk Cousins the last four weeks.

His connection with rookie receiver Drake London was notable. London caught 25 of his 72 passes for 333 of his 866 yards in the final four games and was targeted 36.7% of the time with Ridder in the game compared to 28.9% when he wasn’t. He caught 69.4% of his targets when Ridder threw to him compared to 58% when Marcus Mariota was quarterbacking Atlanta.

Smith mentioned how Ridder played in pressure situations as a positive, too. His numbers back that up, as he completed 68.6% of his passes on third and fourth down along with both of his touchdown passes.

Ridder faced 57.8% zone and 41.5% man defense and saw disguised coverage 16.4% of the time. Against zone, Ridder complete 62.3% of his passes, No. 24 in the league. Against man, Ridder completed 64.5%, No. 8 in the NFL. Both of Ridder’s touchdowns were against man defense.

It echoes what Ridder felt he learned as a starter, where figuring out how to remain calm was part of the growth.

“Just be patient. Take what’s there,” Ridder said. “Don’t try to do too much. Don’t try to force anything. You’re going to have guys open. You’re going to see guys. Just make it there.”

There was nothing objectively bad about what he showed in his four starts, so even that’s a positive. While he didn’t throw any interceptions, Ridder did have one potential pick dropped. The Falcons, at least in Ridder’s first two games, started slowly. Ridder threw for 708 yards, No. 17 in the league, and his 6.16 yards per attempt were No. 22 in the NFL. He took nine sacks, tied with Andy Dalton at No. 23 in the league.

He was off-target on 20% of this throws, No. 24 behind Mac Jones and ahead of Allen. Of quarterbacks who started all four games to end the season, Ridder was off-target more than any thrower in the league (Allen, Jalen Hurts and Derek Carr, who he was ahead of, either played two or three games in that span).

Were Ridder’s performances enough for the Falcons to trust him in the future? We don’t know. And some of it may also come down to who else is available. Is there a quarterback Smith and offensive coordinator Dave Ragone fall in love with during the draft? Does a free agent intrigue them enough to make a move? Would Atlanta be willing to get into the Lamar Jackson conversation if Baltimore were to franchise tag him and then make him available for trade?

These are all unknowns as of now, but answers will start to shake out which will tell us whether the four games they saw was actually enough to make a concrete decision.

“I don’t know if there’s a perfect science to, ‘Hey, he played this many snaps. He’s played this many games. Oh, I’ve got the evaluation,’" Ragone said. “I think guys grow at different rates. I’ve been around young quarterbacks that it clicked right away. I’ve been around young quarterbacks that it’s clicked later, and I’ve been around young quarterbacks that never clicked at all, but you keep waiting because you’re like, ‘Hey, there’s this amount of games.’

“Just no different than when you’re evaluating a quarterback coming out of college.”

A year ago, that was Ridder -- a quarterback Atlanta did a lot of research into and liked out of Cincinnati. Much of what he did with the Bearcats translated to his four-game debut in the league.

Was it enough? Even Ridder might not know.

"You know, that's not my call, and I'm going to go out there and play my game and do what I do,” Ridder said. “At the end of the day, I don't care about stats and what it looks like, but at the end of the day I want to win. That's who I am as a person.

“I want to be a winner. I want to be a competitor, but like I said, it's not my call. I just want to win.”

Information from ESPN Stats & Information was used in this post. Follow Stats & Info on Twitter @ESPNStatsInfo.

Andruw, Sheff, Wagner fall shy in Hall balloting

ATLANTA -- Andruw Jones and Billy Wagner didn’t celebrate when this year’s Hall of Fame balloting results were announced Tuesday night. But both former Braves became more optimistic about future election.Jones received votes on 58.1% of the ballots cast by eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, and W...

ATLANTA -- Andruw Jones and Billy Wagner didn’t celebrate when this year’s Hall of Fame balloting results were announced Tuesday night. But both former Braves became more optimistic about future election.

Jones received votes on 58.1% of the ballots cast by eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, and Wagner garnered 68.1% of the votes. Both remain shy of the 75% needed for election. But they have accelerated toward that number over the past few years.

Wagner actually fell just 27 votes shy of election.

Scott Rolen was the only player elected by the BBWAA this year. Former Braves first baseman Fred McGriff was elected via the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee in December. They will both be inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame on July 23 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Rolen’s vote total jumped from 10.2% (2018) to 17.2% (2019) to 35.3% (2020) to 52.9% (2021) to 63.2% (2022) to 76.3% (2023).

This ascension enhances hope for both Jones, who is eligible to be on the ballot four more times, and Wagner, who has two more years of ballot eligibility. Here’s a look at the progressions of their vote percentages:

JONES 2018: 7.3 2019: 7.5 2020: 19.4 2021: 33.9 2022: 41.4 2023: 58.1

WAGNER 2016: 10.5 2017: 10.2 2018: 11.1 2019: 16.7 2020: 31.7 2021: 46.4 2022: 51.0 2023: 68.1

Another former Brave still bidding for election is Gary Sheffield, who received 55% of the votes this year. Sheffield’s 10-year stay on the ballot will expire after next year.


Jones batted .254, tallied 434 home runs and had an .823 OPS over a 17-season career that included five All-Star appearances and the NL Hank Aaron Award in 2005, when he finished second to Albert Pujols for the league’s Most Valuable Player Award. The only other outfielders to win as many as 10 Gold Gloves are Ichiro Suzuki and four Hall of Famers -- Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Al Kaline and Ken Griffey Jr.

Jones was the author of an uneven career that started with a bang and ended with the thud created by the steep decline he experienced late in his career. He produced MLB's third-best fWAR from 1998-2007. The two men who ranked ahead of him in that span were Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez. The man ranked immediately behind him was Chipper Jones, his longtime Braves teammate who was a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee in ’18.

Jones led all Major Leaguers with a 26.7 defensive bWAR during his 11 full seasons (1997-2007) with the Braves. Ivan Rodriguez ranked second with 16.5 during that span.


From 1995 (debut seasons for Wagner and Mariano Rivera) through 2010 (Wagner’s final season), Rivera led all relievers in fWAR with 34.9. Wagner ranked second with 24.1, and Trevor Hoffman ranked third with 24.0.

The baseball world has wisely minimized the significance of pitching wins. Maintaining this same line of reasoning in relation to Wagner -- who had 422 career saves, as opposed to 652 for Rivera and 601 for Hoffman -- there’s reason to argue voters have placed too great of a significance on save totals when evaluating a reliever’s qualifications.

Hoffman was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2018, and Rivera was unanimously elected in ’19. While Hoffman totaled 179 more saves, Wagner had a better ERA (2.31 vs. 2.87), a higher strikeout rate (33.2% vs. 25.8%) and a lower OPS surrendered (.558 vs. .609).


Sheffield is one of 20 players to produce at least 500 homers and a .900 career OPS. David Ortiz is one of those players. The only members of this group not yet elected to the Hall of Fame are Sheffield, Bonds, Rodriguez, Pujols, Mark McGwire, Manny Ramirez and Miguel Cabrera.

Sheffield is also one of 46 players to produce a 140 OPS+ and a bWAR of 60 or higher. He stands with Bonds, Rodriguez, Ramirez, McGwire and Shoeless Joe Jackson as the only retired members of this group who have not been elected.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for since 2001.

Atlanta’s BeltLine shows how urban parks can drive ‘green gentrification’ if cities don’t think about affordable housing at the start

Is Atlanta a good place to live? Recent rankings certainly say so. In September 2022, Money magazine rated Atlanta the best place to live in the U.S., based on its strong labor market and job growth. The National Association of Realtors calls it the top housing market to watch in 2023, not...

Is Atlanta a good place to live? Recent rankings certainly say so. In September 2022, Money magazine rated Atlanta the best place to live in the U.S., based on its strong labor market and job growth. The National Association of Realtors calls it the top housing market to watch in 2023, noting that Atlanta’s housing prices are lower than those in comparable cities and that it has a rapidly growing population.

But this is only part of the story. My new book, “Red Hot City: Housing, Race, and Exclusion in Twenty-First Century Atlanta,” takes a deep dive into the last three decades of housing, race and development in metropolitan Atlanta. As it shows, planning and policy decisions here have promoted a heavily racialized version of gentrification that has excluded lower-income, predominantly Black residents from sharing in the city’s growth.

One key driver of this division is the Atlanta BeltLine, a 22-mile (35-kilometer) loop of multiuse trails with nearby apartments, restaurants and retail stores, built on a former railway corridor around Atlanta’s core. Although the BeltLine was designed to connect Atlantans and improve their quality of life, it has driven up housing costs on nearby land and pushed low-income households out to suburbs with fewer services than downtown neighborhoods.

The BeltLine has become a prime example of what urban scholars call “green gentrification” – a process in which restoring degraded urban areas by adding green features drives up housing prices and pushes out working-class residents. If cities fail to prepare for these effects, gentrification and displacement can transform lower-income neighborhoods into areas of concentrated affluence rather than thriving, diverse communities.

The U.S. currently faces a nationwide housing affordabilty crisis. Many factors have contributed to it, but as an urban studies scholar, I believe it is important to learn from Atlanta’s experience.

No more Black majority

U.S. cities generally are diverse places, and many of them are becoming more so. But the city of Atlanta is going in the opposite direction: It’s becoming wealthier and more white.

In 1990, 67% of the city’s residents were Black; by 2019, that share had fallen to 48%. At the same time, the share of adults with a college degree rose from 27% to more than 56%. Median income in the city increased from 60% of the median income of the much larger Atlanta metropolitan area to 110%. Median family income in the city in 2021 dollars nearly doubled, rising from approximately $50,000 to $96,000.

The most rapid gentrification occurred from 2011 onward, after the 2008-2010 foreclosure crisis. Globally, urban scholars call this period one of “fifth-wave” gentrification, in which a large increase in rental demand triggered speculation in rental real estate that drove up housing costs.

In Atlanta, this was when the BeltLine really hit its stride after being proposed in the early 2000s and formally adopted as a tax increment financing district, or TIF, in 2005. In these districts, anticipated increases in property tax revenues are used to front-fund development projects. No urban development project in metro Atlanta – and perhaps in the entire country – has been more transformative.

Driving gentrification and displacement

Even before the BeltLine TIF district was adopted, boosters, developers, consultants and many city officials began touting the benefits of a proposed public-private partnership that could remake large parts of the city. Shortly after the special taxing district for the project was formally adopted, the city of Atlanta created an affiliated nonprofit, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., to implement and manage the BeltLine.

In 2004, Yale architect Alexander Garvin published a report called “The BeltLine Emerald Necklace: Atlanta’s New Public Realm.” “The BeltLine’s future users are an attractive market,” Garvin wrote. “Early word of the project has already accelerated real estate values.” In 2005, one developer called the BeltLine the “most exciting real estate project since Sherman burned Atlanta.”

Many neighborhoods that the BeltLine runs through, especially on the south and west sides of the city, had experienced decades of disinvestment and were predominantly Black and lower-income. But boosters weren’t worried about investors and speculators buying up land near the BeltLine, and didn’t prepare for displacement and exclusion. Garvin’s report did not mention the terms “affordable,” “gentrification,” “lower-income” or “low-income.”

In a 2007 study for the community group Georgia Stand-Up, I found that property values were increasing much faster near the BeltLine than in areas farther from it. This meant that property taxes rose for many lower-income homeowners, and landlords of rental properties were likely to raise rents in response. This process directly displaced lower-income families and made many areas around the BeltLine unaffordable for them.

The BeltLine TIF ordinance included some provisions for funding affordable housing, but as I show in my book, they were fundamentally insufficient and flawed. The BeltLine was the work of a coalition, including core members of Atlanta’s traditional “urban regime” – elected officials and the downtown business elite. Their vision produced a wealthier, whiter city population.

Noninclusive growth

Rather than focusing on securing land for affordable housing when values were low, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. prioritized building trails and parks. These features helped boost property values, accelerating gentrification and displacement.

After the subprime mortgage crisis in 2007-2010, foreclosures put pressure on housing markets. Atlanta lost about 7,000 low-cost rental units from 2010 to 2019. Meanwhile, construction of new, pricier apartments boomed: Permits were issued for more than 37,000 units over roughly the same period.

By my calculation, Atlanta’s job market exploded from 330,000 jobs in 2011 to over 437,000 jobs by 2019. Companies like Google, Honeywell and Microsoft moved in, often with city and state subsidies. Many new jobs paid over $100,000 per year and went to young, highly skilled workers, driving up housing demand.

In 2017 the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran a high-profile investigative series documenting that the BeltLine had produced just 600 units of affordable housing in 11 years – far off the pace required to meet its target of 5,600 by 2030. Some of these units had been resold to high-income households. Soon afterward, the CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. resigned.

That year, a student and I redid my 2007 study on home values around the BeltLine. Once again, we found that during the years we examined – this time, from 2011 to 2015 – home prices near the BeltLine rose much faster than in areas farther from it. The BeltLine was certainly not the only cause of gentrification and racial exclusion in Atlanta, but it was a key contributor.

Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. has increased its affordable housing activity in recent years, and in late 2020, it initiated a program to pay the increased property taxes of legacy residents. However, by this point in the BeltLine’s existence, displacement prevention efforts may be too little, too late. By May 2021, only 128 homeowners had applied for the program. Just 21 had received assistance.

Putting affordability first

What can other cities learn from Atlanta’s experience? In my view, the most important takeaway is the importance of front-loading affordable housing efforts in connection with major redevelopment projects.

This means assembling and banking nearby land as early as possible to be used later for affordable housing. Cities also should limit property tax increases for low-income homeowners and for property owners who agree to keep a substantial portion of their rental units affordable. They might offer low-cost, long-term financing to existing lower-cost rental properties – again, in exchange for keeping rent affordable.

Some large-scale urban redevelopment projects, such as the 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington, seem to be making serious efforts to anticipate and mitigate gentrification and displacement. I hope that more cities will follow this lead before undertaking “transformative” projects.

Evaluating DeAngelo Malone's first season, Falcons long-term plan for him -- Rookie review

Editor's Note:The Falcons Rookie Review is a series of stories that analyze the rookie seasons of members of the Falcons 2022 Draft class. We take a look back at their 2022 production, as well as a look ahead to what 2023 could hold for each individual. Drake London's up next.If you want to get technical, the Falcons traded Matt Ryan for DeAngelo Malone. While it's true that the draft pick acquired for the longtime franchise quarterback was used on the edge rusher from Cedar Grove High (and Western K...

Editor's Note:The Falcons Rookie Review is a series of stories that analyze the rookie seasons of members of the Falcons 2022 Draft class. We take a look back at their 2022 production, as well as a look ahead to what 2023 could hold for each individual. Drake London's up next.

If you want to get technical, the Falcons traded Matt Ryan for DeAngelo Malone. While it's true that the draft pick acquired for the longtime franchise quarterback was used on the edge rusher from Cedar Grove High (and Western Kentucky), it shouldn't be looked at as a one-for-one. That would involve heaps of additional pressure that shouldn't be placed on Malone's shoulders. The Falcons needed salary-cap relief they now have largely attained via that trade and others like it.

That's why Malone is free to progress at his own rate without the burden of getting a return on the trade. Cap space was the biggest get. Can Malone make that trade a complete coup? It's possible.

The Falcons see real potential in Malone, a tenacious edge rusher and special teams player. He didn't play a ton in 2022, but that shouldn't impact his evaluation. Right now, it should be called incomplete. Focus should be on the team's long-term vision for him, which requires time to execute. Let's take a closer look at what Malone has done to this point and what's next in the team's grand plan for him:

A look back: Malone played 15 games as a rookie, with 29 tackles, a sack, four tackles for a loss, two quarterback hits and seven total quarterback pressures over the course of 216 defensive snaps. He played an additional 216 on special teams and was a crucial contributor who gave the unit maximum effort.

That didn't go unnoticed.

"DeAngelo, you go watch in a game and he's running down on kickoff knocking the hell out of people because he's just a tough, physical, competitive player," general manager Terry Fontenot said in a postseason press conference. "Coaches are going to play the best players, and we're not going to play players just because they're young and talented. The best players are going to get jerseys, but what you love about this class is even when their number hasn't gotten called on offense or defense, they're doing everything else that they need to do to get on the field."

What DeAngelo learned in 2022: Rushing the passer sometimes requires finding a good rhythm. It can also require constant work, setting a tackle up on one play to take advantage of him the next. That's harder to do while playing in brief spurts. That was Malone's role, with Lorenzo Carter, Ade Ogundeji and Arnold Ebiketie taking the majority of the defensive work.

Malone didn't earn additional time, but that's not shocking for a relatively undersized player who came from a smaller school in a mid-major conference. We knew from the second Malone was drafted that he would need both physical and technical development he received from top-tier outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino and the Falcons defensive staff.

Areas for improvement: It's both cliché and true that NFL players can make a real jump between Years 1 and 2. That's because a player has a chance to train over a complete offseason. The spring prior to a rookie season is spent on pre-draft prep, without time to really concentrate on getting better. Malone has that this offseason, which will provide an opportunity to put on some weight – he played 2022 at about 240 – without losing his trademark agility. If he can get bigger and stronger, Malone's tenacity should lead to greater production. The Falcons are expected to add edge rushers this offseason, possibility in free agency and the draft. Malone could be impactful as a sub-package edge rusher in 2023, with the prospect of earning more down the line. There's potential is Malone and it will be interesting to see how he develops.

Falcons Trade for Ravens QB Lamar Jackson? 'Makes Sense', Executive Says

The Atlanta Falcons have been linked to Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson several times in recent weeks, with ...

The Atlanta Falcons have been linked to Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson several times in recent weeks, with insiders and oddsmakers alike putting the Dirty Birds among the most likely landing spots if Jackson is traded.

And the train just keeps on rolling.

ESPN, featuring statements from several team executives, wrote that "multiple people believe the Falcons would make sense as a destination" for Jackson should Baltimore opt to move on.

But why?

"Good running game, an offense that could be friendly to Lamar while helping him grow as a passer, big receivers with a catch radius, which he needs due to accuracy issues, young regime on an improving team looking for a quarterback solution," an NFL scouting director told ESPN. "Not sure if that's their plan, but it would make some sense."

Atlanta finished the season ranked No. 3 league-wide in rushing yards per game with just under 160. Running back Tyler Allgeier broke a franchise rookie record with 1,035 rushing yards, while wideout Drake London set the Falcons rookie record with 72 receptions.

The Falcons had more players 26 years old or younger than anybody else in the NFL, speaking to the youth on the roster that's created the identity of an "improving team."

Notably, the scouting director added that Atlanta is "looking for a quarterback solution" - which doesn't seem to reflect positively on the future of Desmond Ridder, who passed for 708 yards and two touchdowns across a four-game interview at season's end.

That's where Jackson enters the mix - but will he?

Ravens coach John Harbaugh and general manager Eric DeCosta stressed their intent to keep Jackson in Baltimore for years to come, with ESPN adding that "people in the building ... believe (they're) sincere" and "some executives around the league believe the same thing."

However, there are others who remain "skeptical," pointing to "roadblocks in contract negotiations" such as Jackson's request for a fully guaranteed contract.

If the Ravens are unable to reach a long-term agreement with Jackson, they'll almost certainly use the franchise tag on him - but there's a hang up.

Should Baltimore use the exclusive franchise tag, it'll control Jackson's rights but have to pay him roughly $45 million. Conversely, a non-exclusive franchise tag comes with a much lower price of $30 to $35 million ... but other teams can present contracts to Jackson, though this comes with the principle that two first-round picks will be sent back to the Ravens should a deal be met.

As such, Baltimore will "probably receive offers" - and has little interest in moving Jackson to another team in the AFC. Thus, attention shifts to the NFC ... where the Falcons, who hold the second-most salary cap space, become a logical option.

Consider further that Falcons coach Arthur Smith has publicly endorsed the 25-year-old, noting there's "only one Lamar Jackson," and the idea of Atlanta being the ultimate landing spot truly does make sense.


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