USAA to Open Buckhead Office
USAA Wealth Management will be opening a new Atlanta location, the first for the Texas company.
The insurance giant just inked a 22k SF lease at Two Buckhead Plaza, says Two Realty Partners' Sharon Altenbach, whom we snapped this morning with partner Candice Flig and Stafford Properties' Stephen Edwards at our Atlanta Office Boom: The Future of the Workplace event at Twelve Hotels Atlanta.
During our panel discussion, Cousins Properties' Thad Ellis (laughing it up with Childress Klein's Connie Engel) says he expects possible "new high watermarks" over prices with the pending sales of The Pinnacle and Two Live Oak, One Buckhead Plaza, and Concourse Corporate Center. Thad also offered more details on Cousins' latest purchase of Northpark Town Center: It paid $220/SF at a sub-6% cap rate, which he says is still favorable to replacement cost.
Marcus & Millichap's Bob Johnson says, after selling Hammond Exchange to State Farm, he found out its proximity to MARTA was a key reason for the buy. So he had staff study office buildings along the MARTA spine from Midtown to Sandy Springs. And Bob says what he found was the buildings within walking distance to a MARTA station had, on average, higher occupancy rates than those farther away.
Carter's Jimmy Barry (who recently joined the firm from Avison Young) says Jamestown's massive redevelopment project--quickly approaching its opening day--just can't be replicated elsewhere in Metro Atlanta. “If you look at Ponce City Market in a vacuum, they're killing it,” he says.
There are buildings in Midtown, Buckhead, and Central Perimeter that have broken through the $30/SF gross ceiling, but the market as a whole isn't there yet, Connie says (here with our moderator Parker Hudson Rainer & Dobbs' Kenneth Kraft and Bisnow's own Brian Kinslow). But Thad says that could be changing quickly. “I'm not suggesting there's been a sea change where we're all of the sudden in a $20/SF net market. But we definitely will be there in the next 24 months.”
During our breakfast schmooze, we spoke with Carter EVP Scott Stringer and Avison Young's Sean Moynihan. Sean tells us he's hit the market with RL Brown & Associates, an architectural firm now at 250 E Ponce de Leon (in what used to be former nightclub space) with 13k SF. The firm is still eyeing Decatur properties, Sean says.