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Atlanta 2015: Place-Making Finally A Real Thing


Two predictions for our Atlanta 2015 Forecast on Jan. 28 at the W Hotel in Midtown have our lineup of prognosticators saying this metro area will finally coalesce as a region, with skyrocketing construction costs keeping new and spec construction at bay. Register here.


Integral Group CEO Egbert Perry, among our panelists, tells us that businesses in Atlanta now are seeking out those work environments that offer “placemaking" and a mix of uses. That's showing up in demand for big mixed-use projects. Now his group is swinging its bats at such a project: The massive redevelopment of the former Doraville General Motors assembly plant. “The site has an opportunity to create another unique and exciting...destination in the region,” Egbert says.


Like other mixed-use projects of this caliber–think Buckhead Atlanta, Ponce City Market and Avalon–a variety of commercial uses will be integrated into the 165-acre project, from office and retail to residential and mass transit. But Egbert says the initial focus will be on the integration of streets and green spaces within the campus development. “We want to make sure we have the right ingredients for placemaking by investing in the public realm,” he says. And given the time Integral has to build out this redevelopment, Egbert says those are solid initial investments that will attract tenants in the long run. 


Another of our panelists, Transwestern Southeast president Bruce Ford (here with his wife Sou on a recent trip to Istanbul) says office fundamentals have reversed course and strengthened across metro Atlanta–especially in Central Perimeter and Buckhead–but we're not going to see much new office development. Blame the Falcons stadium. Blame the Braves stadium. Blame any number of the multifamily towers going up around the city. Labor and material costs have risen so much for construction that the average Class-A office building cannot command enough rents to justify breaking ground (even with Tishman Speyer testing the waters with that theory in Buckhead with Three Alliance). Bruce says he believes Tishman is targeting a low $40/SF rental rate at Three Alliance.To hear more, please join us for our Atlanta 2015 ForecastJan. 28 at the W Hotel in Midtown, starting at 7:30am. Sign up here