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More on Atlanta Apartment Boom

More on Atlanta  Apartment Boom

Atlanta's delayed economic recovery may actually help our apartment market in the long run. (Blessings in disguise, appropriate for Halloween.)

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That came from our panel—CohnReznick's  Jonathan Bartlett, Post Properties CEO Dave Stockert, Gables Residential CEO Sue Ansel, and AMLI Residential Partners CEO  Greg Mutz— during this week'sBisnow Atlanta Multifamily Summit  at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead. Atlanta is actually better positioned for apartment growth because it took us so long to get out of the recession, Dave says, with a fair amount coming online in Buckhead, Midtown, and Old Fourth Ward. But the demand seems to be enough to absorb the new product, and we're not at risk of overbuilding that other markets may be facing, like Austin. (That means no empty buildings, which means no ghosts. Not as good for Halloween.)

Sue says Atlanta may be stronger than some of the other markets in the US. The big difference this cycle is the  focus on the urban core for new development, she says. That, in the long term could create some "pockets of weakness." (That's the same phrase we use when we ask our parents to buy us dinner.)

ATL crowd
Other trends that bode well: Dave told our audience of 400  that housing starts are still well-off from the peak, and no condos are being developed. That will keep consumers focused on the apartment market, particularly Post's primary customer: Singles at a median age of 30 who "want to be closer to  where the action is."
greg and niles
Greg (here with Niles Bolton Associates' Niles Bolton) echoed those sentiments and says, believe it or not, that the divorce rate has a big impact on apartment demand (and the futon and pizza markets). When the recession made the divorce rate drop in 2008, "that just killed us," he says. Now that it's back up, AMLI and other apartment operators are picking up renters on both ends of the spectrum.
Signs, signs, everywhere are signs. For our sponsor DeNyse Cos, that is. We caught up with DyNyse's  Richard Swartz, Jeff Holley and  Alex Eison, who say the company is getting more  requests for signage for new apartment projects throughout the metro area.
We also ran into DPR Hardin's Russ Brockelbank, Whitney Thrower, Dave Conlon  and  Roger Watson,  another sponsor. The company is fresh from its merger (of DPR and Hardin) and already busy on the housing front. The company recently announced that it was awarded the GC contract for Preston Partnership's $32M Crescent Howell Mill mixed-use  project that includes some 250 luxury private residences.

Check back tomorrow for some more insight from our panelists. Send your news to