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June 5, 2014
AmREIT Eyes Multifamily Redevelopment
A popular Buckhead strip center could become the site for a multifamily project. Maybe. The developer's just not sure yet. (Give them some time, think about how hard it is for you to choose your sandwich at Subway and multiply that a million times.)
In an SEC filing by AmREIT, the Houston-based company highlights plans for Brookwood Village, a nearly 30k SF retail strip center off Peachtree Road in Buckhead that is home to CVS Pharmacy, FedEx/Kinko's, and the popular Black Bear Tavern. In the investor presentation, AmREIT proposes to build multifamily atop the retail center (rendering here) in what it describes as an “irreplaceable corner." (We weren't great at geometry but if you replace a corner, don't you end up with a triangle?)
We spoke with AmREIT's Charles Scoville, who says the plan is more just a concept proposal than anything definitive at this time. “We're kind of looking at long-term redevelopment projects for that site,” Charles says. “It may not even be multifamily product.” AmREIT picked up the strip center in 2011, and has since been earning steady rental income there given it's 96% occupied. “Those [properties] in urban sites with single-story retail, we're always trying to figure out how to enhance that value. But we're not there yet on that site.”
The Worthing Cos Eye Sandy Springs Project
The prolific The Worthing Cos multifamily developers has its sites set on Sandy Springs for a new project. The company filed plans with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for a development of regional impact for what it's calling The Heights at Sandy Springs. According to plans, the developer plans to alter an existing pure apartment site into a more dense project that would involve 173 townhouses and 368 apartment units at 4735 Roswell Rd. (A lot more neighbors means more people from whom you can "borrow" tools.) Calls to Worthing were not returned by press time. Docs suggest the project could be delivered in 2017. The Worthing Cos developed and operates a number of metro Atlanta properties, including the Heights at Old Peachtree, Heights at Clairmont, Heights at Northlake (here), and the Lofts at Perimeter Center.
Crown Holdings Benefits From Charles Brown
You think you've seen some real estate action in the last five years or so? Try Charles Brown: He's been in the game for over 50 years before lending his development expertise to Crown Holdings. He's assisting Crown in its new Central Perimeter 2M SF mixed-use development at the old Gold Kist site. Before his work with Crown, Charles was key in developing several million SF of office space for such important Atlanta properties as Atlanta Center, Atlantic Station, and Technology Park. He tells us he's so old that transistors were considered high tech when he first started in the biz (we don't agree that he's old). He bills himself as a “good old Southern Tennessee hillbilly guy,” and notes that while Crown has many properties of varied natures, it is not a fund but a partnership of several investors. For more info on our sponsor, Crown Holdings, click here.
A Midtown Rebuttal
Leave it to Midtown Alliance to rebut our story from yesterday. We heard from Midtown Alliance CEO Kevin Green (here with his 12-year-old daughter Maris on a recent trip to NYC) after we called Midtown "the new bedroom community" of the Intown area. He says that headline "gave me a double-take." "When I think 'bedroom community' I don't think of a place with more than 20M SF of office, 80,000 daytime workers,25,000 students, 4,000 hotel rooms and six million annual visitors." (Wilt Chamberlain's bedroom?) Bedroom communities are usually reserved for suburban cities where people live, and who often commute to work elsewhere. While Kevin says, yes, Midtown does have a burgeoning residential component, it instead has become the poster child for live-work-play urban environments.
His response comes at a great time because Midtown Alliance COO Shannon Powell is a featured panelist at Tuesday's 2nd Annual Future of Midtownevent at TWELVE Hotels Atlantic Station (get your tickets here). Kevin says with more than 750 new rooftops underway and another 4,400 announced in Midtown, retail will be the next significant product in demand. So far, developers will include 250k SF of new retail space as part of many of these projects. "But it won't get built overnight, and we'll see exactly what the mix will be," he says.
Coffee Shop and Pool Table Expansion
Boy, the perks of being a national radio celebrity. We just found out that Bull Realty's Michael Bull has just expanded his corporate office again, this time to include a coffee shop with a view of his Studio One radio studio! (So no goofing around, he can see you.) Bull just expanded into 15k SF at 50 Glenlake Pkwy from 12k SF. Two years ago, Michael added the radio studio for his syndicated “The Commercial Real Estate Show” program. Other office features include a new game room, with a conference table that converts into a pool table.