Atlanta, once known as for its 16-lane highways, is now becoming famous for some of the most innovative real estate developments in the country. It is the capital and most populous city in the state of Georgia. Located in the beautiful foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Atlanta has tree-lined neighborhoods and rich, vibrant culture.
With diverse workforce, the booming economy, and an influx of a diverse workforce, the city offers urban walkability. In case you don’t know, walkability is the measure of how friendly a city or area is to walking. Looking at the city through the lens of real estate, you will find some incredible investment options.
While cosmopolitan areas are hot spots for developments, this year, the commercial real estate industry of Atlanta is focusing on the metro regions. From adaptive-reuse projects to “sky-rocketing” new constructions, and in some cases, combination of both, Atlanta is soon to witness some of the best development projects. The upcoming real estate developments promise more investments that will add to the beauty of this vibrant city.
Atlanta –the Homebuyers’ Market
When it comes to growing metropolitan regions with affordable homes, Atlanta is one of the top contenders. It is one of the best real estate markets for investors looking for long-term investments. Over the years, the steady growth in the Atlanta housing market has made the cosmopolitan city a great place to live in as well as invest.
You can enjoy up to $750/mo in cash flow. The average home value in Atlanta is $259,700, according to Zillow. Furthermore, the average home price is nearly $16,000 less than the national average. The reasonable prices and the low cost of living make Atlanta one of the top rental markets in the US.
Factors influencing the Real Estate Market in Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is on the horizon of becoming one of the leading commercial real estate markets in 2020. The city is already in the “favorites” list of real estate investors, constructors, and developers. Before we “unveil” some of the much-awaited real estate developments in Atlanta, let’s look at the driving factors and trends that affect the developments in the real estate sector in Atlanta.
According to PwC’s 2020 report on the “Emerging Trends in Real Estate” in the US and Canada, population will be the leading driving force behind the developments in the real estate market of Atlanta.
The City of Atlanta is home to half a million people, and the metro area has a population of about 6 million people. Atlanta is already in the top 10 most populous metro areas of the US. According to the Atlanta Regional Commission, the population will hit the 8 million mark by 2040.
Atlanta was among the nation’s top ten and world’s top 20 economies in 2018-19, with a GDP of $385 billion. The city hosts the busiest international airport, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in terms of air traffic.
Atlanta homes the HQs of twenty-six Fortune 1000 companies; sixteen of these companies, including UPS, Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and AT & T, are among the elite Fortune 500 list.
Atlanta has several flourishing industries, including finance, science, retail trade, aerospace, professional, and medical services. Atlanta had the largest employment gain in the country between February 2018 and February 2019, i.e., nearly 3.5% compared to 2.6% nationwide.
PwC’s 2020 report marks business friendliness as one of the top factors that will drive the growth of the Atlantic housing market. Atlanta offers the ideal legal environment for setting up a business. The regulatory environment boosts the economic performance of the region.
The median real estate tax in Georgia is nearly $800 less than the national average; the effective property tax rate in Georgia is $0.93%. Atlanta’s real estate taxes are also less; the median home value in Atlanta is $205,000 with an effective property tax rate of 1.22%.
Tourism is also a major driving force that is likely to affect the real estate developments in the state of Georgia, particularly Atlanta. While it is one of the largest metropolitan regions, Atlanta has walkable space and entertainment activities for the residents and visitors.
In fact, Atlanta is one of the few American cities to have permanent companies related to different performing arts, including opera, ballet, symphony, and theatre. The city has a vibrant culture, eateries, bars, and the largest indoor aquarium in the Western hemisphere.
Top Real Estate Developments Coming to Atlanta in 2020
The landscape of Atlanta’s real estate market is dynamic; the city is one of the hottest markets for real estate investors, particularly the constructors in the commercial sector. The city is buzzing with aspiring efforts to redefine, rebuild, and reinvigorate the lagging neighborhoods.
1. Interlock –The Emerging Project in the West Midtown
One of the most visible and dynamic developments in the West Midtown neighborhood is the Interlock. The under construction property sits on the corner of buzzing Howell Mill and 14th street. With this unprecedented urban-mixed project, the developer S.J. Collins is bringing some $450 million construction to the West side.
The Interlock is an emerging project that is going to change the landscape of West Midtown Atlanta completely. The Interlock will offer a mix with 200,000 square feet of incubator office space, stylish storefronts, a Marriott Tribute Portfolio boutique hotel, and restaurant space. The total area the Interlock covers is 100,000 square feet, with 350 apartment units, and 70 single-family homes.
The amenity-rich elements, including rooftop, a luxurious lounge with retractable rooftop, and private pool club are a value edition. While the project will open this fall, S.J. Collins Enterprises, the commercial real estate development firm behind this project, have already won Commercial Property Executive (CPE) award for their dynamic project. It is worthy of mention that the Interlock is the only real estate project in Georgia to receive this honor.
2. Pullman Yards –the Pratt Pullman District
Pullman Yard, the historic Kirkwood rail yard, is getting a “makeover.” Atomic Entertainment, a film production company, is heading this development project. For the revitalization of Pullman Yard, now known as the Pratt Pullman District, Atomic group has invested more than a $100 million.
While a big part of the land will become part of Pullman Yard’s burgeoning film industry, the 27-acre site will also feature residential, retail and office spaces. It will be more like part live-work-play space. Adam Rosenfelt, the head of the Atomic Entertainment group, has off-loaded six acres of the property to a residential developer Alliance Residential.
Alliance plans to build three apartment buildings with 355 home units. The construction of Alliance’s residential project will kick-off in spring this year. According to Noah Randall, Alliance Residential development director, the project could be tenant-ready by 2022.
In addition to the apartment buildings, the Pratt Pullman District will include a green space galore for concerts and movies, a “food bazaar,” and boutique hotel. The site will be open to public. However, a more detailed vision of this mix-used development project will come over time. For now, we do not have any concrete timelines for complete overhaul of the site.
3. The Gulch –the Mammoth Development Project
The Gulch, a part of the city of Atlanta, has been a rail site for more than 80 years. But, many developer groups are now focusing on making this site a vibrant new district. CIM, a Los Angeles-based group, has plans to build a mixed-use project capping “the Gulch.” The group will spread a network of streets.
Sitting at 27 acres, the Gulch has a price tag of $1billion. The project will include six towers and almost a million square feet of office, retail, and residential space. According to CIM Group’s tentative plan, the project will feature 900,000 square feet of high-end office space, 1,500 hotel rooms, and 1,000 housing units. CIM Group’s objective is to create a walkable, vibrant urban district for the downtown side of Atlanta.
Interestingly, CIM Group’s project will have more office space than Amazon’s HQ2 project. In case you don’t know, Amazon has chosen the same site for its second headquarters project. CIM Group’s tentative timeframe for the Gulch project will end in 2027.
4. Quarry Yards –the Ambitious Green Space in Westside
Thanks to Urban Creek’s Quarry Yards project, Westside is finally witnessing some major real estate developments. Quarry Yards sits adjacent to the new Westside Reservoir Park at Bellwood Quarry, a 300-acre ambitious green space that will be the largest park in Atlanta. The park will create an excellent amenity for people who live and work at Quarry Yards.
Adjacent to the Bank head MARTA station, Quarry yards will emphasize on metal, glass, brick, and concrete materials for paying homage to the area’s industrial roots. It will connect Beltline’s Westside Trail with the Proctor Creek Greenway.
In the first phase, the mixed-use development, encompassing 70-acres, and a price tag of $400 million, will include 850 residential units. It will also feature office space spread over 575,000 square feet, restaurants/retail space covering 75,000 square feet, and a 300-key boutique hotel.
5. Assembly –a Rising Mixed-use Project in Doraville
When it comes to real estate development, the north side of Atlanta’s Interstate is one of the most buzzing regions. While the area is on fire in terms of rapid urbanization, Doraville’s mini-city “Assembly” deserves special mention. The Integral Group is spearheading the massive project; it is a rejuvenation of a former General Motors site in Doraville.
The city spread over 165-acres will include housing, restaurant/retail, office space, and entertainment studios. Assembly already homes the Third Rail Studios, headquarters of Serta Simmons Bedding, and Asbury Automotive. The mixed-use development will feature Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s first movie theatre in Georgia with table service, and a 1600-square-feet food hall.
Assembly will include 300 multifamily apartment units and 150 townhomes. For the retail and dining spaces, Intel has contacted Paces Properties, the company behind Atlanta’s Krog Steet Market. The retail, dining, and entertainment space, slated to open in 2021, will cover 125,000 square feet.
6. High Street –a Mixed-use Destination in Atlanta’s Central Perimeter
High Street is one of the most anticipated real estate developments in Atlanta’s Central Perimeter. Designed around the pedestrian-friendly street grid, High Street is potentially $2billion project, will represent a convergence of culture, community, and commerce. The latest development plans of this 42-acre project cover the site across Dunwoody MARTA Station’s Street and Dunwoody’s Street Farm campus.
High Street is likely to bring roughly 8 million-square-foot mixed-use and entertainment destination, including 400,000 square feet retail/restaurant space and high-end office space spread over 635,000 square-foot. In addition, the development will also feature 1,500 apartments and a boutique hotel. High Street also promises to include a public park.
In the first phase, however, the project would complete 600 residences and 200, 000 square feet of retail space. Dwell Design Studios, an architecture firm, is overseeing the construction of retail and residential components.
7. 760 Ralph McGill –a Redefining Project
Located at 760 Ralph McGill Boulevard, the Beltline’s Eastside Trail proposed project is moving towards break ground soon. New City Properties, the developers behind the new Beltline Kroger and 725 Ponce –the concrete office block above Beltline –has acquired the permit to begin the construction on the 12-acres site next to the Historic Fourth Ward Park.
The project offers 1,100 residences, including affordable homes, office space spread over more than a million square feet, 200,000 square feet retail space, and a 75-key boutique hotel. The mega project includes utilities and infrastructure installations worth $4 million. It will be interesting to see what this project will offer in the coming days.
8. Norfolk Southern HQ –a shiny addition to Midtown’s Skyline
Railroad giant, Norfolk Southern, has returned home to its Atlanta’s roots. Norfolk Southern, a Fortune 500 company, is all set to open its Midtown Headquarters later in 2020. The $575-million development project of Cousins Properties is poise to make a mark on Midtown’s skyline.
The new headquarters will stand on a 3.4-acre parcel bordering Midtown’s 3rd Street and Ponce de Leon Avenue. The relocation is a testament to the talented workforce and thriving business community of Atlanta.
Norfolk Southern’s headquarters will feature a glassy, two-tower building standing on 750,000 square feet, a 13,000 square feet retail space with food hall-style dining facility, and lavish green spaces at rooftops. The development will also include a 24/7 fitness center for locals.
9. Midtown Union –the Multi-towered Mixed-use Development
The colossal, multi-towered Midtown Union is officially under bona fide construction with plans to open in 2022. The mixed-use project located at the corner of Midtown’s Spring and 17th streets, poise to offer approximately 600,000 square feet office space within a 26-story tower. In addition, Midtown Union, a project by Granite Properties, will include an 18-floor residential building housing 355 apartments and parking level.
The development site will also feature a 12-story hotel, and 300,000 square feet retail space. With the financial funding from MetLife Investment Management, the block-swallowing project is set to include a 205-key boutique hotel – collaboration between developer The Allen Morris Company and Stormont Hospitality, a business management company.
Midtown Union is also poise to include a small corridor that will serve as a “pedestrian-friendly extension” of Arts Center MARTA. European boulevard-inspired path will open a new retail spot in Midtown with restaurants, shops, and green space. The first phase includes the apartment tower, the hotel, and a part of the retail space.
10. Star Metals –the Ultimate Integrated District Experience
Located along the Howell Mill Road corridor, Star Metals is a mixed-use district in West Midtown. A culmination of iconic architecture, the 14-story offices’ stack of Star Metals is under construction. The live-work-play development is all set to open by the end of 2020.
The project offers an exemplary design tailored to the urban lifestyle with unparalleled amenities. Star Metal offices will cover 227,000 square feet of premium office space. In addition, the developers hope that 409 luxury apartments, with first-class amenities and cutting-edge finishes, will be tenant ready this year.
The 60,000 square feet prime retail space takes the residential experience to the next level. In addition, business tenants, apartment tenants, and visitors will enjoy the panoramic views, convenience of boutique retailers, bar, café, organic grocery, and other entertainment activities.
11. King Memorial MARTA TOD –the transformational Development for MARTA
MARTA TOD is the first-ever modular construction, transit-oriented initiative in MARTA. The King Memorial Station is two stops away from downtown Atlanta; the 4.4 acres, underutilized parking space on the southern side of the station, is a part of MARTA’s TOD initiative.
The transit-oriented project features an arts project for the Grant Street Tunnel and ground floor retail. Located in the historic neighborhood of Grant Park, the $62.5-miilion-inititaive is a collaborative project of Russell New Urban Development and Place Properties.
The King Memorial TOD will include 300 residential apartments with 100 affordable units. In addition, the developers will also construct a 10,000 square feet retail space at the underutilized 4.4 acres parking space.
12. The MET –the Cultural Engine of Atlanta
In addition to the revamping of the Summerhill neighborhood, Crater is also reshaping the 1.1 million-square-foot cotton warehouse into the “cultural engine of Atlanta.” The building freestanding between the Metropolitan Parkway and Murphy Avenue is dubbed as the MET.
The MET, once known as the Metropolitan, will home several creative tenants. The Mammal Gallery –the art gallery that got displaced from Southdown Town after a fire eruption – is one of the newest tenants at Adair Park’s mixed-use development project.
Besides the arts and music venue, MET will also feature a double-story coffee and cocktail bar infused into the building’s water tower. Award-winning chef Rodney Scott is all set to open BBQ at the MET in Adair Park adjacent to the West End MARTA this spring. The MET will connect the Beltline, MARTA, and the Interstates through a pedestrian spur.
13. Revel –the Sprawling Retail and Entertainment District
Mixed-use, walkable communities are on the horizon of real estate developments in Georgia this year. Gwinnett is also stepping up the game with Avalon-inspired entertainment and retail district named Revel.
All set to open this spring, the communal space will feature a 25,000-square-feet food hall with a variety of cuisines, grocery markets, and a beverage market for adults, a premium movie theatre with 8 auditoriums, and a fitness center.
In addition, the 118-acre project will also include restaurant and retail spaces, huge office space, 700 residential units, and a 300-room Marriott Hotel. The developer North American Properties hopes to profit from the growth of Gwinnett’s Infinite Energy Arena –one of the most desirable hoods in the country.
14. Turner Field –a Mixed-use Redeveloping Project in Summerhill Atlanta
Another on-going project in downtown Atlanta that is making rounds in the real estate world is the redevelopment of Turner Field. Cater is heading the 83-acre mixed-use project, poised for $52.8million, in partnership with Oakwood Development and Healy Weatherholtz Property.
The project, with Georgia State University as the anchor, aims to reflect the values, vibrancy, and character of Downtown’s Summerhill neighborhood. The developing team is working to turn the 35-acres site into a mix-used area featuring corporate office space, multi-family apartment, and retail and private student apartments.
Turner Field, the new home of the state’s football team, has a big football stadium owned by Georgia State University. The university plans to construct a new baseball field with a capacity of 15,000 seats on the site of Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. The private development also includes the revitalization of 49,000-square-feet along Georgia Avenue. It will focus on rehabbing the historic community buildings.
New Year brings new hopes, new developments, and new opportunities. Atlanta, the third-largest city in the country in terms of population, is all set to become one of the leading real estate markets this year. The city is buzzing with exciting constructions, several mixed-use projects, mini-cities, and remodeling projects. In this post, we have only shared a few of the many real estate developments coming to Atlanta this year. The aspirations to rebuild redevelop, and reinvigorate the city and lagging neighborhood will take Atlanta on the horizon of the commercial real estate market in 2020.