Amazon HQ2 Not Landing in Atlanta—Rejoice!

Amazon HQ2 Not Landing in Atlanta—Rejoice!

3 weeks ago 0 0 70

I started talking about Atlanta’s Amazon HQ2 potential a year back in my post “Amazon HQ2 and The Gulch: A Symbiotic Relationship?” and continued the discussion in a follow-up post. Now, Amazon announced its intention to co-locate Amazon HQ2 in New York and the DC metro areas, and I am pleased with the result. Sometimes, you can score just as many runs hitting singles and doubles—so in that regard, Atlanta and Georgia are doing just fine. Thank you very much. Good Things Already Happening Here In my opinion, Atlanta is already winning the corporate relocation game as well as nurturing our own future Amazons through such initiatives as Atlanta Tech Village and the ATDC at Georgia Tech. Need evidence? Think Mercedes-Benz, Norfolk Southern, Apple, State Farm, Athena, and Accenture. All have announced either relocation or workforce expansion in the Atlanta metro area. And these are just a few. Some May

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Past the Value-Add Cycle in the Real Estate Cycle

Where is the “Add” in “Value-Add”?

2 months ago 0 0 1317

Late in the Cycle As discussed in previous blogs, I believe we are very late in the real estate cycle, a period which is characterized by fully priced assets and increasing ground-up development. Yet, I keep hearing the term “value-add” tossed around both by brokers trying to sell properties with low current yields and buyers convinced that rents will continue to increase and add value. I am skeptical. In addition, with fewer transactions occurring, lenders are becoming more aggressive by offering longer “interest-only” periods and equity funds are becoming lenders to make up for the lack of good buying opportunities. I find these trends troubling. This is the sort of activity that usually pushes the market over the edge. The Real Deal  In a true value-add market, sellers are usually under pressure, rents are low, and vacancies are high. Buyers in this market are more risk-tolerant and are focused on

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Great Recession and Recovery is Unique

Not Your Standard Recession and Recovery

5 months ago 0 0 328

Most recessions and recoveries are straightforward. There’s oversupply, too much money and aggressive lending. The economy goes into recession. Values plummet, lenders foreclose, and occupancies and rents go down. Everything is distressed. Then, distressed assets are sold, the economy improves and rents and occupancies increase. Happy days are here again. But the Great Recession of 2007-09 and subsequent recovery have been anything but straightforward. Due to financial chaos and a slow-to-recover economy, the road from the valley to the mountain top has been long and winding. Financial Chaos In 2007-2008, government policy and deregulation encouraged overaggressive lending and leveraging of lender’s balance sheets, not unlike when the government deregulated the Savings and Loans and changed the tax laws in 1986. Not only did this create a deep recession, but it also caused a near collapse of the U.S. financial system. So, how did this impact real estate? Bank Failures +

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Atlanta's Edge Cities are creating downtown centers, like Sandy Spring's City Springs, to offer amenities to attract future residents to the area, like the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center

Atlanta’s Edge Cities: Alive and Well

8 months ago 0 0 579

Two years ago, in Atlanta’s Edge Cities Develop New City Centers, I focused on how several of Atlanta’s edge cities, like Sandy Springs and Alpharetta, were attempting to create an “attractive sense of place.” This trend continues today, with Sandy Springs’ continued development, Roswell’s success and Peachtree Corners’ growth. More millennials are in their 30’s, and they’re looking for affordable housing in Atlanta to own, proximity to quality schools and work, convenience and, above all, a sense of place. With the rise of multi-use developments and entertainment centers in Atlanta’s suburbs, these folks are settling more and more in edge cities. Let’s take a closer look at some of these communities: Sandy Springs In my first blog, City Springs, the soon-to-be 14-acre civic and cultural center of Sandy Springs, was still renderings and plans, but earlier this year, it announced its first [retail] tenants, with construction expected to reach completion

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