Wow, Apartments Aren't So Bad
So far, so good. That's the catchphrase for Atlanta multifamily. (Or one of the cheesiest home run calls for a baseball announcer.)
We have a big event on Sept. 30: our 4th Annual Atlanta Multifamily Summit. (Tickets here.) We approached a couple of our panelists for a preview. "Certainly, we're concerned about new supply. We're watching it, and so far, so good," says AMLI Residential Partners' CEO Greg Mutz. In fact, occupancy and rents have been "stronger than expected" in Atlanta. (Maybe we need to expect more things, the power of positive thinking.) Enough so that AMLI is scouting a fourth intown site for another project.
The event is at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead. The panel includes Gables Residential CEO Sue Ansel, Franklin Street Management Services' Doug Linneman, Centerline Capital Group's John Beam, and Post Properties CEO Dave Stockert. AMLI has three projects underway in the Atlanta CBD, including AMLI Ponce Park (above, ghosts sold separately). And for Greg, there's good reason: "We're finding the infill, intown locations outperforming the suburban [markets]," he says. In Buckhead and Midtown, "we feel reasonably comfortable that there will be enough demand for the supply we have coming." (See you Sept. 30.)
Haddow & Co's Ladson Haddow, right, with David Haddow and Chris Hall. Of the 21,500 units the group tracks, rents jumped 7% to an average of a mid-$1.40/SF range during the past year. And the Holy Grail of $2/SF rents "is happening," he says. (When we were kids we thought $2/SF were just fairy tales our parents told us to get us to brush our teeth.) And demand so far appears deep enough to handle the 6,500 units (more than 3,000 of which are coming in Buckhead alone) underway right now given average occupancy are 96%.
Even Post's suburban apartment communities are performing. "We're seeing good strength everywhere," Dave tells us. And he credits a dearth of new housing starts for feeding rental demand. "I think Atlanta is one of our better development markets across our portfolio. lt's less overbuilt, potentially, than some of our other markets like Austin and DC.
Post is moving forward with a second phase of its Post Alexander project in Buckhead (above). The second building will add 340 units in a 19-story tower overlooking Ga 400. Would develop another apartment project in Buckhead at this point. "Absolutely." But he also added, "I don't know if I would do another high-rise in Buckhead though."