5. Devel­op­ers see new op­por­tu­ni­ties in old ware­houses

GA Voice - - Metro Atlanta Living -

If you’re won­der­ing what’s trend­ing in At­lanta real es­tate, some­times all you need to do is take a step out your front door or a quick ride around the block. But here’s a closer look at both what’s hap­pen­ing now through­out the city and what to keep an eye out for com­ing soon.

1. Mul­ti­fam­ily is mush­room­ing in Mid­town

As pop­u­la­tion and rental de­mand in­creases in town due both to the post-re­ces­sion mar­ket and the trend of peo­ple choos­ing to live in cities, mul­ti­fam­ily con­struc­tion has boomed in re­cent years. Most of th­ese de­vel­op­ments are rentals, as mil­len­ni­als do not place as high of a pri­or­ity on home own­er­ship as baby boomers and other gen­er­a­tions.

2. OTP-style sub­ur­ban mixed-use de­vel­op­ments mak­ing their way ITP

With a grow­ing in­town pop­u­la­tion comes de­mand for ev­ery­day goods such as food, hard­ware and con­ve­nient quick ser­vice or fast food din­ing op­tions. Is the tra­di­tional big-box an­chored strip mall fea­tur­ing Wal­Mart, Kroger and Home De­pot the way to do it? De­vel­oper Jeff Fuqua cer­tainly thinks so, while the push­back he has been met with in dif­fer­ent neigh­bor­hoods in­di­cates that his idea of what the city needs is not agreed upon by the whole com­mu­nity. In con­trast, projects such as Ponce City Mar­ket and the forth­com­ing At­lanta Dairies and Larkin on Me­mo­rial projects are more ori­ented to­ward walk­a­bil­ity, help­ing neigh­bor­hoods’ economies by en­cour­ag­ing and wel­com­ing small

As Ge­or­gia’s tax credit, first passed in 2005 and then beefed up in 2008 by the Gen­eral Assem­bly, con­tin­ues to lure the film and tele­vi­sion in­dus­tries from Hol­ly­wood to At­lanta (“Yal­ly­wood”), devel­op­ers are act­ing quick to build multi-use stu­dios. Jim Ja­coby, among sev­eral oth­ers, has plans to re­vi­tal­ize un­der­uti­lized, sprawl­ing de­vel­op­ments like the OSF com­pound off Jimmy Carter Boule­vard and I-75 into mam­moth film stu­dios. Ja­coby’s At­lanta Me­dia Cam­pus boasts one of the largest blue and green screens in the world. But while At­lanta catches up in build­ing stu­dios and train­ing crews and act­ing ta­lent, pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies like Crazy Legs Pro­duc­tions, the pro­ducer of shows like “Your Worst Night­mare” and “Swamp Mur­ders” on In­ves­ti­ga­tion Dis­cov­ery, are tak­ing up shop in worn­down, would-oth­er­wise-be-un­rented of­fice space. As for the At­lanta Me­dia Cam­pus, the space in its cur­rent, un-re­de­vel­oped state has al­ready been home to projects like “The Hunger Games,” “Fast And Fu­ri­ous,” and “The Fifth Wave” Film and tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies are des­per­ate for space.

4. Can Atlantans “Walk It Out”?

How ex­actly does a city like At­lanta, whose en­vi­ron­ment and in­fras­truc­ture largely en­cour­ages mo­tor ve­hi­cle use, en­cour­age peo­ple to walk to where they need to go? Ryan Ponce City Mar­ket is one of sev­eral new Mid­town prop­er­ties that en­cour­ages res­i­dents to trade driv­ing for walk­ing shoes. (Photo by Rob Boeger) Gravel’s vi­sion­ary At­lanta Belt­Line project is do­ing an ex­cel­lent job con­nect­ing the city’s neigh­bor­hoods, mak­ing it easy for res­i­dents to safely walk from one place to an­other. Not only does the project en­cour­age walk­a­bil­ity, but it has sparked many new de­vel­op­ment projects along the lin­ear park to give peo­ple more places to walk to in the first place.

While At­lanta has been notorious in the past few decades for tear­ing down his­toric build­ings to erect park­ing decks, park­ing lots, blandly de­signed res­i­den­tial projects and strip malls that don’t make for ef­fi­cient neigh­bor­hood fab­ric, sev­eral devel­op­ers have done an ex­cel­lent job with adap­tive re­use projects that have in­stead re­pur­posed ex­ist­ing ware­houses. Jamestown’s re­de­vel­op­ing of Ponce City Mar­ket as well as White Pro­vi­sions District has helped cre­ate vi­brant, walk­a­ble de­vel­op­ments in al­ready ex­ist­ing build­ings with strong bones that should not go to waste. You may have heard that most build­ings aren’t “built like they used to be,” which is largely true, and also the rea­son why old build­ings should be em­braced and re­de­vel­oped in­stead of razed to erect lower-qual­ity build­ings.

Caleb J. Spivak is the founder of What Now At­lanta, the city’s lead­ing news source for restau­rant, re­tail, and mul­ti­fam­ily open­ings and clos­ings. What Now At­lanta is con­sis­tently named “Best of ” by Cre­ative Loaf­ing, At­lanta Mag­a­zine, and Jezebel Mag­a­zine for their abil­ity to dish on what’s mov­ing and shak­ing in At­lanta’s busi­nesses.

April 15, 2016

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