John O’Neill III

Some  thought it would take years for metro Atlanta to rebound from the recent recession, the president of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors says.

It’s hasn’t.

“We’re back in a big way,” John F. O’Neill III told members of the Buckhead Business Association on Sept. 25.

“A lot of folks kind of counted Atlanta out,” McNeill said. “Folks said it was going to be a decade before we rebounded. It was doom and gloom.”

Instead, development has returned, especially in Buckhead, he said. Much of the development under way is for apartments, he said. Eight projects, providing 2,506 housing units, are under construction and another six, containing 2,400 units,  are planned, he said. “Multifamily [development] .. is where the action is right now,” he said.

The Buckhead Atlanta development is bringing new shops to the area, he said, and several new office towers also are planned.

The development comes in response to projected growth in employment in the metro area, he said. Atlanta is expected to add tens of thousands of jobs in 2015 and 2016, he said, and is projected to rank third of the top 10 U.S. cities in job growth over the next five years. “Everyone is looking at job growth,” he said.

Showing a photograph of construction cranes, he joked, “the state bird is back — the Georgia Crane.”