Atlanta’s Super Bowl Gets a Gold Star
Atlanta Hosts Super Bowl LIII Like A Champ

Atlanta’s Super Bowl Gets a Gold Star

8 months ago 0 0 261

I had never before been to a Super Bowl. And it wasn’t until I walked through the gates on Feb 3rd that I truly believed I was going to the game. I had planned an evening of whiskey, cheese and football on my couch when offered an out-of-the-blue invite from a friend. But when I learned how he secured his tickets, I was skeptical, but darn if we didn’t go. So Much Happening Anyone who watched the game on TV and thought it was boring was (obviously) just not there—so much happened in the stadium. There were no idle breaks on the field; huge TV screens showed commercials and previews and featured NFL stars and awards. Concerts and pyrotechnics constantly entertained. The Peach Bowl I recently attended was a game. This Super Bowl was an experience. Super Bowl: The Experience The actual game is only part of the entertainment package.

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Getting Started in Real Estate Investing

Getting Started in Real Estate Investing: It Ain’t Easy

8 months ago 0 0 393

Knowledge, Network + Money A recent article in The Washington Post offered advice on launching into the world of real estate investing; the author says, “In general…there are three things that every real estate investor needs no matter what: education and knowledge, a good network, and money. But not necessarily your own money.” Stan’s Viewpoint Everything the author says is true except it isn’t that easy. Learning markets, finding good deals, and hooking up with the right professionals and investors takes a lot of time, persistence and patience. Like any startup, the first few deals will likely be less successful due to lack of experience and inability to foresee problems. In addition, these deals will likely require one’s own money or that of close friends and family. New investors are also likely to underestimate the cost of ownership and the amount of time and effort to manage. Very small deals don’t

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Will Sharing Economy Concepts Like WeWork Survive?

The Sharing Economy: Does WeWork Work?

8 months ago 0 3 377

“Merry New Year!” Why not recall Eddie Murphy in the classic Trading Places and start the new year off with a smile? I usually start my new year attending GSU’s industry conference Views From the Top. The 2019 version did not disappoint. This year, I was intrigued by the Industry Panel: “New Faces, New Spaces, and the Shared Economy.” Ideas being birthed from the sharing economy concept should be of great interest to us folks in the commercial real estate industry. Current innovations will certainly impact the CRE business—and in many cases, change the way an entire segment of the industry does business. Just think about WeWork—one concept that is disrupting the office market—and whose rep sat on the conference’s panel. I Work, You Work = WeWork?  Many different opinions about WeWork exist, but regardless of what you think, they are a force in the office market that cannot be

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Sandy Springs' Growth Includes City Springs, the New Town Center

Sandy Springs’ Growth: Merry and Bright?

10 months ago 0 0 328

December can be a dark month, but its saving grace is the festive holiday lights. Everything is lit up and alive with energy. And as a long-time resident of Sandy Springs, I can honestly say Sandy Springs is really lighting up as well. I started talking about Sandy Springs’ growth two years ago in my blog “Atlanta’s Edge Cities Develop New City Centers.” Then, City Springs was in development. Now, it’s the city’s civic and cultural heartbeat. Efforts to revitalize retail and affordable housing are occurring in the city’s North End, as companies locate HQ’s to the area. Although Sandy Springs’ growth presents some challenges, it’s happening in a big, bright way. City Springs: A New Town Center It’s important to have a town center, and Sandy Springs has built one. At City Springs, City Hall is the anchor to a walkable, livable downtown with theaters, restaurants, retail, apartments and

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Amazon HQ2 Not Landing in Atlanta—Rejoice!

11 months ago 0 0 421

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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Atlanta Restaurant Bubble: Yes or No?

Atlanta Restaurant Bubble: Yes or No?

11 months ago 0 0 492

Word on the street suggests an Atlanta restaurant bubble exists even as the metro area experiences solid population growth, people cook less and many spend disposable income to dine out. Within these macro trends is continued retail development anchored by new restaurant concepts which impacts the sales of existing stores even while overall sales grow. Also affecting the industry are delivery services such as UBER Eats, online sales of prepared meals, and growing competition by supermarkets offering prepared meals. What’s the Worry? A recent Bisnow article suggests the Atlanta restaurant bubble is indeed happening. According to a NetFinancial report, “[R]estauranteurs are still seeing sales volume growth overall, with a 4% increase in the first quarter compared to 2017, [but]…more than half of the restaurants surveyed (103 non-franchised restaurants) experienced negative sales in the first quarter.” In a recent BisNow panel, RO Hospitality founder Ryan Pernice said even good restaurants with

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Past the Value-Add Cycle in the Real Estate Cycle

Where is the “Add” in “Value-Add”?

1 year ago 0 0 3522

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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Inevitable RE Downturn

Are You Prepared for the Inevitable Real Estate Downturn?

1 year ago 0 0 609

Heading for a Correction? A BisNow article from earlier this year directly asks the question on everyone’s mind: “When is the correction going to hit?” In “From Bullish To Bearish: Tips To Prepare For The Inevitable Real Estate Downturn,” the author says not to worry so much about when it hits, but more so with how prepared you will be when it does. The article offers these four tips: Negotiate long-term leases Pursue Rehabs and Upgrades Stop Putting Off Maintenance Embrace Technology Stan’s Viewpoint For the most part, I agree with this article. I would add that the strategy for a given property really depends on the property’s current status. That status will dictate whether to sell (if a key lease has just been extended), upgrade (a longer-hold strategy) or refinance. I would caution this: If an owner is looking at new financing, the debt/value ratio and debt service coverage should

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Investment Strategies for Real Estate Cycle Phases

Investment Strategies for Real Estate Cycle Phases

1 year ago 0 1 512

Recently, I’ve taken an in-depth look at the real estate cycle and its phases. The first blog in this series defined the real estate cycle phases. The second blog described the unique aspects of the recent recession and recovery. And the latest blog described crosscurrents impacting the current recovery. In this blog, I offer investment strategies for the different phases of the real estate cycle. While I’ve said this before, it is worth repeating. Before making investment decisions, you must always consider: Your personal situation Your objectives Your risk tolerance Post Market Peak/Recession Strategy Stay out of the market. Fundamentals are declining, and although prices are starting to look cheap, you don’t know how bad it will get. Better to be a little too late than too early. Risk You miss out on some good buying opportunities. Early Recovery Strategy This is the best time to be a value-add buyer.

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Current Real Estate Recovery Has Been Impacted by Shifts in Office

Crosscurrents Impact Real Estate Recovery

1 year ago 0 2 518

My last blog “Not Your Standard Recession and Recovery” discussed how—due to the disruption in the financial markets—the most recent real estate recovery was anything but straightforward. In addition, this real estate recovery has experienced crosscurrents, which have made it even more unpredictable. These include the impact of global markets, technology disruptors, high construction costs and demographic shifts. Global Market + Economy Impact As world economies become more intertwined, foreign markets more broadly impact the U.S. economy. The Chinese economy’s size and its growth impacted demand for U.S.-made products, resulting in drastic increases in some material prices. Weak European economies and actions of European central banks created greater demand for U.S. Treasury notes, which has kept interest rates artificially low. More foreign investors have sought U.S. assets, including real estate, with safety being a greater priority than yield. All of these factors contribute to a spike in U.S. property values.

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