Is Atlanta Becoming the New York of the South?
Metro Atlanta can expect to win more big company relocations as the area solidifies itself as “the New York of the South,” declared Marcus & Millichap's Paul Johnson during our Atlanta Office event this week at the St. Regis.
Paul, one of the city's veteran office investment sales brokers, told our audience of more than 300 that our moderate climate and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport are key reasons for HQ relos. And weather elsewhere could be a big incentive for companies to move here. “The winter that they just went through in New England is going to make a lot of people think,” he says.
Paul was among a host of office market and general commercial real estate luminaries, including Batson-Cook's Curt Ribgy, Daniel Corp's Steve Baile, Pursley Friese Torgrimson's Stephanie Friese, Portman Holdings' Travis Garland, Jackson Corporate Real Estate's Scott Jackson and Hines Interests' John Heagy.
Travis called Jamestown Properties' Ponce City Market a “huge eye opener” for the industry. “It's changed what's going to work in this cycle,” Travis says. And while rents are rising, our panelists say costs compared to other markets are still low.
The massive exodus of big companies out of Gwinnett County and the I-85N office corridor reared its head as well. And John says the lack of MARTA is partly to blame for why a company like NCR is leaving—headed to Midtown and North Fulton. Scott says there's a lack of an amenity base in Gwinnett that hampers the office market. At least Alpharetta—which doesn't have MARTA access either—has projects like Avalon with a unique amenity base. “That's a big challenge in that corridor,” he says.