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One of the biggest developers of Atlanta's affordable housing stock says City of Atlanta incentives are ?inadequate? to fund much more unit growth.
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The incentives fail to fill the gap in affordable housing development funding when paired with traditional capital, Integral Group's Valerie Edwards told an audience of more than 400 CRE professionals during our Atlanta Multifamily Summit this morning at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead. ?When you try to pull your capitaltogether, you find that lenders attach a premium for your site,? she says. That has led to pent-up demand for affordable housing. ?There needs to be a little flexibility because the market is there. We just need the supply,? she says, asking that traditional lenders be more willing to fund affordable unit development.
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Valerie was part of our multifamily panel that included Arnall Golden Gregory's Partner Jonathan Eady (our supermoderator), Perennial Properties' Aaron Goldman, and Wood Partners' Bennett Sands. Aaron says that demand for intown living is growing. But developers need the right spot. ?Atlanta is a city where if you're off by two blocks, you could be off by a lot,? he says. At the right location, there is absolutely strong demand. And he judges those sites as ?where I would live if my wife threw me out": Places that areedgy and fun, attracting the ?creative class.?
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Bennett say the biggest problem for multifamily developers today is getting financing. Institutional equity has "steered away from Atlanta for the most part recently,? he says. It has hurt Wood, which has three projects in metro Atlanta; it's been trying to round up capital to break ground. Bennett says conversations were moving forward with lenders, but by August, ?it was like the energy just gotsucked out of Atlanta." (Can we blame the heat?) The deals will eventually get done but just may take longer.
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Here's sponsor Interstate Restoration's Cherrie Carney holding up her own branded bag of coffee at our event. Cherrie tells us her company, which helps restore facilities and buildings damaged by floods, fires, and the like, has been busy in the Northeast, which is still recovering from Hurricane Irene. Check back Monday for more event coverage!