Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside Trail: Open for Business?
Altanta BeltLine Westside Trail

Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside Trail: Open for Business?

8 months ago 0 0 463

My partner and I recently looked at a property on the newly-opened Westside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine. This got me thinking about one of blogs I wrote last year, “The Atlanta BeltLine: Will the Westside Trail Match the Eastside Trail’s Success?”. In that blog, I suggested the expectation that the Westside Trail’s success would equal the Eastside Trail’s success was unrealistic. With the Westside Trail now open for six months, it’s a good time to consider what’s happening in the area and whether it’s a good place to invest. Westside Trail: A Description On its website, the Atlanta BeltLine describes itself as “a transportation and redevelopment initiative.” The Westside Trail, a $43 million project, is the largest section of the BeltLine yet—it runs from University Avenue between Oakland City and West End MARTA rail stations up to Washington Park, near the Ashby MARTA rail station. The Atlanta BeltLine sees

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Should Atlanta Lure Amazon HQ2?

9 months ago 0 0 308

A recent Atlanta Business Chronicle article, “Atlanta Activists: We don’t want Amazon ‘HQ2’ here, touts “a growing sentiment that the resulting income inequality, unaffordable housing and traffic congestion is not worth even the 50,000 jobs” that landing Amazon HQ2 would bring to Atlanta. Stan’s Response  While I’m not as opposed to Amazon choosing Atlanta for its HQ2 as these folks appear to be, I do question why our City, which is experiencing a booming film industry and new corporate move-ins and expansions on a regular basis, offer what looks like a “distressed sale” giveaway. If we have so much to offer, and I believe we have a lot, why set this precedent? In my recent blog, Amazon HQ2 and The Gulch: A Symbiotic Relationship?, I address many of the pros and cons of swallowing the Amazon Whale.

CRE Responds to House Bill 851 Effects on Affordable Housing Development

House Bill 851 Threatens Georgia Affordable Housing Development

9 months ago 0 0 327

This blog post was co-authored by Steve Rothschild and Chris Martiner, CayCap Advisors. State tax credits provided under Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs Housing Tax Credit Program are proven tools that are critically important in the creation of high-quality affordable housing for the citizens of Georgia. The state tax credits incentivize local businesses and individuals to give back to their communities in a socially responsible manner, as the investments are used as a capital source, along with other state, local and federal funds, to finance and develop affordable rental communities. The continuance of the tax credit program is critically important to all areas of the state – rural and major metro areas. Atlanta, for instance, is experiencing rapid growth in population. This has led to a tighter market and increased rental rates. Further, gentrification in many neighborhoods has effectively displaced many long-term residents, forcing them into uncertain and unaffordable circumstances.

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Smart Real Estate Investing in 2018

10 months ago 0 0 505

It’s a new year, and we’re moving full steam ahead. It’s a great time to check in with current real estate trends and events shaping this year’s market and then decide how you will respond to them to meet your 2018 investment objectives. Current Real Estate Market Trends Money Chasing Deals: It will come as no surprise that demand for real estate still far exceeds supply. This results in peak prices, which equals lower yields, and makes it increasingly more difficult to “win” deals. Risk/Potential: With the market peaking, there is more downside risk and less upside potential. Hesitation: Current owners are hesitant to sell because opportunities to reinvest their money at acceptable returns just do not exist. Low Prices: Prices per square foot on existing properties seem low compared to replacement costs. Core Investment: Institutional investors now consider real estate a core investment, thus eliminating the need for a

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CRE Market: Looking Back to Look Ahead

10 months ago 0 0 435

In last year’s first blog of the year, “2017: A Mature Market,” I made some predictions about the commercial real estate market and investing for 2017. Here’s a look at what I predicted and what actually happened. It’s apparent I had some good predictions and some that did not come to fruition. INVESTING What I predicted: A good, but not great year for investing. What happened: Transactions and overall volume were down, but price per transaction continued to rise to new highs. INTEREST RATES What I predicted: Interest rates will increase, but will still be cheap by historic standards—with only a marginal effect on investment. What happened: Ten-year Treasuries were flat. Two- and five-year Treasuries rose, but not enough to impact the market. CASH FLOW What I predicted: A combination of more solid incomes and continued low interest rates will result in good cash flows. What happened: This prediction was

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Stan Sonenshine Discusses Amazon HQ2

10 months ago 0 0 433

Stan Sonenshine was featured in Bisnow’s recent article, “Atlanta’s Odds Are Strong, But ‘Conservative Culture’ Could Hamper Amazon HQ2 Chances.” In the article, Stan questions whether Atlanta’s conservative culture could be a drawback and whether landing HQ2 may be disruptive to a city already experiencing healthy growth. You can learn more about Stan’s thoughts on HQ2 in his recent blog “Amazon HQ2 and The Gulch: A Symbiotic Relationship?”

Amazon HQ2 and The Gulch: A Symbiotic Relationship?

1 year ago 2 1 681

Atlanta was originally called Terminus because the rail lines converged here. Eventually, the interaction of trains and cars became problematic, and streets were built over the railroad tracks. Existing shops were abandoned, and new shops were built on the new streets. Then, the Omni, Phillips Arena and the Georgia Dome were built, creating a big, empty space that you can look into. That area is The Gulch, a 120-acre site, currently made up of parking lots and rail lines. The Gulch: Past and Future Visions  For years, the vision was to turn The Gulch into a multi-modal station and then build mixed-use around the station, but that plan has never come to fruition, mostly because of the number of entities that would have to be involved—county, city, state and federal agencies; MARTA; and Norfolk Southern to name a few. However, according to a recent Atlanta Business Chronicle article, “The Gulch…is

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Intentional Development Around Stadiums: Can It Work?

1 year ago 0 0 452

In my last blog “The Not-So-Obvious Connection Between Stadiums and Community”, I admitted my skepticism related to the community-building aspect of erecting new stadiums while acknowledging my hope for the success of such projects, like the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. But there’s an exception. And that’s the new Georgia State Football Stadium. Once Turner Field. Once the Olympic Stadium. (In fact, did you know this is one of the longest sustainable stadiums in the history of the Olympics?) What’s Different? Why do I think this example is different? It’s all in the approach. And I see private co-developers Georgia State University (GSU) and Atlanta-based Carter & Associates creating Summerhill, a development around the stadium, in an intentional and realistic way. In other words, this is not a “build it and they will come” project. GSU and Carter appear to be assessing what the community needs and then building it. To me, this

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The Not-So-Obvious Connection Between Stadiums and Community

1 year ago 0 0 485

I admit it. I am a skeptic when it comes to the community-building aspect of sports stadiums—and I am not alone. This issue is particularly relevant in Atlanta with the recent openings of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium and SunTrust Park and the soon-to-be completed renovation of Philips Arena, all done with public financial assistance.  In this blog, I focus on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium because it is the most expensive and prominent. Here’s my question: How can a huge building, that looks like either the Lunar Lander or an alien landing zone (think big hole in the roof) and that is used less than 100 days per year, help revitalize a struggling community? Wasn’t this supposed to happen before with Turner Field and the Georgia Dome? Don’t get me wrong. I support public-private partnerships and these revitalization efforts, but in general, I do not see the connection. With that said, I do think the

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Historic Tax Credits Drive Downtown Revitalization

1 year ago 0 0 416

The town of Sandusky, Ohio is experiencing a bit of a resurgence these days, thanks in part to Historic Tax Credits (HTCs) incentivizing developers to re-think their approach to space, as described in: Booming downtown Sandusky gets a boost. While this isn’t necessarily a “new” approach to redevelopment, it is an incentive that is preserving the culture and architectural nuances of cities across the country, and PREF LLC is uniquely positioned to help organizations strategically leverage HTCs through financing and trading tax credits. Here in Georgia, downtown Savannah has experienced a similar resurgence. Boarded and largely desolate for years, Broughton Street is a great example of how businesses recognized and utilized redevelopment incentives to revitalize the downtown area to a once again make it a bustling center of commerce. BusinessinSavannah.com cites a study by real estate and economic development firm, Place Economics, who reiterates the importance of these programs to

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