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January 13, 2011 

Just announced, our next big schmooze: Atlanta Health Care Real Estate Summit, feat. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia facilities services director Philip Oullette. Join us Feb. 9, Grand Hyatt Atlanta Buckhead. Sign up now!

The Blizzard of 2011 will definitely have an economic impact. But it will likely be uneven.
Georgia State University Robinson College Business Economic Forecasting Center Rajeev Dhawan
That's the word from two of Atlanta's top economic prognosticators. GSU's Dr. Rajeev Dhawan (pictured) says most businesses will only experience a delay in sales. Snow and ice blanketed the metro area in amounts not seen in decades, forcing businesses, schools, and retailers to close. But most businesses will make up the lost sales and productivity. “The issue is how quickly,” Rajeev says. Commissioned people may have to wait until next quarter to make it up. Other businesses will actually benefit. Many grocery stores, for example, had runs on milk, bread, and other staples. And even specialty product stores. “People who sell generators probably sold more now than they would have,” Rajeev says. But the flip-side exists: Those stores that were barely surviving prior to the snowstorm, “this might push them over the edge.”
But businesses that survive based on walk-in traffic, especially restaurants, will likely suffer from Snowmageddon '11. "If you're a restaurant owner or you're providing services for a convention, you don't make it up," Rajeev says. Mercer University's Dr. Roger Tutterow adds that up until the snowstorm, the economy had been recovering, although with no significant job growth. "I don't think missing two to four days will sideline the recovery."

Glenridge Point 100 Highwoods Properties Mike Wells
Here's Glenridge Point 100 in warmer times (we didn't want to brave the ice for a more recent pic). The building has been the beneficiary of a new tenant: Hospitality Staffing Solutions has leased 16K SF and is moving in this weekend, Highwood's Mike Wells tells us. The company is vacating space in an office condo along Powers Ferry Road. Andrew Waguespack and Brian Greene with CresaPartners repped the tenant while Mike handled the landlord. “They're back-filling space that AmTrust emptied two years ago,” he says.
1800 Century Center Georgia Department Revenue Jim Bacchetta
Throughout the snowstorm, Mike says Highwoods de-iced the parking lots of all its buildings—especially at 1800 Century Center where the Georgia Department of Revenue remained open throughout. It used this Bobcat to break up thick ice patches (we offered to drive). Highwood's Jim Bacchetta says it was one of the hardest-hit buildings in Century Center since the building shades the parking lot. That had Jim and a crew out there manually spreading salt on the pavement so revenue department employees could report for work. (The taxpayers were, of course, grateful.)

John Ferguson Leigh Martin CBRE Commercial Board of Realtors
CB Richard Ellis' John Ferguson gets a second promotion this year. Not only is he the new Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtor's president (seen here accepting the title), but he's also been named the executive managing director of CBRE's Southeast region, stepping up from his SVP role. John will oversee CBRE offices in Atlanta, Charlotte, and Nashville, and affiliates in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. John had quite a year last year, including assisting Global Payments in its HQ lease and the NCR HQ relocation to Atlanta. He's also helping OldCastle consolidate its HQ. The firm is now split between 900 Ashwood Pkwy and 375 Northridge Rd—both in the Central Perimeter area—and is scouting the market for 90K SF.
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