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Shaping Atlanta’s Growth Through Art: NINE dot ARTS at Bisnow’s Atlanta State Of The Market Event


Despite the challenges of the last few years, the Atlanta commercial real estate market has emerged from the pandemic resilient, and it seems people can’t get enough of the city.

Population growth in the Atlanta metro area has more than doubled the national average in the past decade, driving the need for additional multifamily housing. Meanwhile, the area’s retail market saw a 3.8% vacancy rate in 2022, a historic low that has led market rents to soar 27% over the last five years.

“The large migration of people from coastal cities to the southeastern urban core has made Atlanta a hot spot for innovation, technology, arts and culture and, of course, real estate development,” said Andrea Barry, director of client success for NINE dot ARTS, an art consulting and creative placemaking firm. 

Barry and the team at NINE dot ARTS are committed to demonstrating how art can transform and elevate a space while engaging the community and providing a significant return on investment for stakeholders. She will be speaking at Bisnow’s Atlanta State of the Market event June 7 at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta, focusing on submarket linchpin developments. Register here

Bisnow sat down with Barry to learn more about the work NINE dot ARTS is doing in Atlanta, what she is looking forward to at the event and the benefits of a well-planned art program.

Bisnow: What inspired you to speak at Bisnow's Atlanta State of the Market event? 

Barry: NINE dot ARTS’ presence in this region has been instrumental to our overall growth and the relationships we’ve built — from boardroom decision-makers to emerging artists to the local communities that our projects serve. I’m excited to continue building connections with Atlanta leaders.

I think there’s a responsibility on those of us in the real estate industry to help shape Atlanta’s incredible growth in ways that will uplift existing assets, honor the city’s rich history and benefit current and future generations. And all of this presents great opportunities for placemaking and community engagement, so I’m looking forward to exploring these opportunities with fellow panelists.

Bisnow: What topics will you speak about at the event, and what are you most looking forward to while you're there? 

Barry: I’m looking forward to talking about the rise of mixed-use developments and the kinds of solutions our NINE dot ARTS team has provided to help elevate these projects. We’ve had tremendous success using thoughtful art programming to create synergies within mixed-use developments so that people are prompted to stay longer, visit often, tell their friends and spend more money. 

When brought in early, we can identify the high-traffic areas of a mixed-use destination where artwork can make a strategic impact. For example, a landmark sculpture can establish a focal point or ‘meet up’ spot outside a building, a large-scale mural can support visitor navigation, and other kinds of installations can capture attention and entice people into nearby retail offerings. 

I’m especially eager to share the immense value that these kinds of art experiences can bring to Atlanta’s economy and social fabric. Study after study shows that places with an active arts and cultural scene also have a stronger and more resilient economy.

Andrea Barry, director of client success for NINE dot ARTS, an art consulting and creative placemaking firm.

Bisnow: Can you describe your role at NINE dot ARTS and any projects you're working on?

Barry: I focus on advising our clients on how to maximize the value of their art experiences. And with the economic landscape we’re in, much of that value is centered on ROI. I help our clients save time and money by demonstrating how art can be a cost-effective way to enhance a space compared to architecture or design, for example. And how establishing an art vision early in the project life cycle can help you differentiate for the long term, meanwhile informing the budget throughout development and supporting project permitting, design review, board reviews and public approvals.

I assist our clients to understand the kinds of returns they can reap from a well-planned art program. Things like higher asset sales rates, higher room rates, faster lease-ups, longer lease terms, less turnover, earned media, etc. Sometimes folks only think about the ‘soft’ value drivers like how the art program can reflect local culture and build goodwill, but those factors absolutely influence your bottom line. The best part of my job is supporting clients to understand and reap those benefits in ways that also connect with and elevate local talent and position places like Atlanta as the ultimate destination. 

In terms of projects, our team is preparing for all the excitement that the 2026 FIFA World Cup will bring to the city. We’re supporting our local partners with their creative placemaking efforts and we’re taking advantage of Atlanta’s influence on Georgia as a whole, with several hospitality and multifamily projects in the works in Savannah.

Bisnow: What makes Atlanta's submarkets a prime spot for experiential mixed-use projects? 

Barry: Each of Atlanta’s submarkets has a unique vibe that can be elevated through these mixed-use projects. Buckhead has high-end shopping and dining, while West Midtown features local arts venues and trendy restaurants. Alpharetta is benefitting from the tech hub of Microsoft and Amazon, while East Atlanta has a mix of history and modernity that’s popular with young professionals.

Mixed-use projects should leverage the character of each submarket toward more experiential, one-of-a-kind offerings that feel exclusive to that area. I see incredible placemaking opportunities for these projects, such as using art to activate neglected spaces, promote public gathering, build goodwill and authenticity, and, overall, connect people to each other and to place.

Bisnow: What are you excited about for the future of the Atlanta market? 

Barry: Centennial Yards President Brian McGowan recently joined our NINE dot ARTS podcast and described Atlanta as ‘the new South — a contemporary cultural hub.’ It’s the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement, home to leading HBCUs, a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship and more.

All of this makes Atlanta such a culturally rich and historically meaningful place to work, so I’m excited to see how current and future projects aim to honor that history while shaping the city’s future. Atlanta is somewhere you come to, not pass through. And I’m proud to join others in creating such an iconic and memorable city where people want to be.

To hear more from Barry, register for Bisnow’s Atlanta State of the Market event here

This article was produced in collaboration between Studio B and NINE dot ARTS. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

Studio B is Bisnow’s in-house content and design studio. To learn more about how Studio B can help your team, reach out to