Midtown's Coming Onslaught of Development
As we speak, nearly 800 new apartment units are underway in Midtown. And in the coming months, Midtown's apartment landlords could add another 4,400 units—beyond the plans for 448k SF of new office space and more than 340 new hotel rooms. (If you haven't found a room for yourself, just stand still, one might build itself around you.)
AGH's Wes Hudson (third from right) outlined numbers from Midtown Alliance during our 2nd Annual Future of Midtown event yesterday at TWELVE Hotel at Atlantic Station. “We really got an onslaught of development in the Midtown area. The cranes are coming back,” says Wes. (They're not just coming back, they brought friends.)
But other panelists at our event (which included AMLI Residential's Philip Tague, North American Properties' Mark Toro, Daniel Corp's Steve Baile, Integral Group's Chris Martorella, Midtown Alliance's Shannon Powell, and Novare Group's Jim Borders) note that the influx of apartments will exacerbate the traffic problem in the submarket. “I think one of the greatest challenges [in Midtown] is traffic and accessibility. Right now, it's hard to get into Midtown, and it's hard to get out,” Chris (here with Integral's Egbert Perry) tells our audience of more than 300 industry folks. (On the bright side, that's good news for any radio stations looking for ratings, though.)
“The paradigm of Atlanta is everybody drives to work and everybody drives home. Well, that doesn't happen in Midtown,” Mark (here with Philip and Shannon) says. In fact, Mark contends many Midtown residents work from home. But even if they don't, transit is a viable and used option here. (We're also big proponents of skateboarding, if you're cool enough.)
“I think the optimal word here is choice. We have choices on how to move here,” Shannon says. Steve (seen here with The Cheroff Group's Penelope Cheroff) says "you don't need a car to be here," what with the options for MARTA rail, bus and even bike lines (which will double to 10 miles in a few years under a Midtown Alliance program).
Other notable comments and quotes from our event:
- “Everybody is not an apartment developer, including us. That spells the beginning of the end to me because we see people doing things they shouldn't do," says Mark Toro, calling for more discipline among multifamily developers.
- Focus on the triple A sites that tend to be “recession proof,” Steve says. “You never want to be the guy where people drive by and are like, 'What were they thinking building that there?'”
- With Midtown's demographics either young Millennials or retirees downsizing, those in the middle-age bracket are not generally in the market, says Philip (pictured). For couples with children “it's a lot more alluring to live in an urban setting. The big unknown is what will happen when the 37% [of Millennials in Midtown] have their first child and they start thinking about school systems.”
- “For the first time, Midtown is on the radar of these retailers... because it's not Buckhead," Mark says.
We met up with The Shumacher Group's Harold Shumacher during our coffee schmooze who told us Ruth's Chris Steakhouse is leaving Sandy Springs for Alpharetta! The steak restaurant is taking the former Rainwater restaurant space, an 18k SF upscale dining facility at 11655 Haynes Bridge Rd in Alpharetta. (We can't stress this enough, Alpharetta, the plate is too hot for you to touch.) Ackerman & Co's Steve Langford and Alan Shaw brokered the sale to Ruth's Chris. And Harold tells us he's repping Babalu Tacos & Tapas, a new eatery chain entering the Atlanta market with up to three locations. “We're seeing a lot of activity from out of town,” he says.