Shopping and dining in Atlanta looks vastly different than this time last year due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but owners, developers, investors and retailers alike remain optimistic about the metro area’s prospects.
Many local retail professionals say barring another outbreak or a second black swan event, the worst of the recession is in the rearview mirror and the Atlanta market is currently on a positive trajectory, though the market is experiencing negative absorption from over-leveraged national retailers shuttering stores, as well as local and regional operators that are struggling to regain their footing.
As far as active categories that are attempting to expand in Atlanta, Monetha Cobb, senior vice president of Franklin Street, says that some service-based retail categories and restaurants are seizing opportunities left and right.
“In the past six months, one area where we’ve seen substantial activity is health- care retail, including in urgent care and physical therapy facilities, and even veterinary clinics,” says Cobb. “In addition, we are seeing a lot of activity in single-tenant outparcel types of uses, such as oil change businesses and fast food concepts, as well as food concepts that have traditionally been deemed more ‘to-go.’ We’re also still seeing a lot of the more traditional junior box retailers taking advantage of the influx of larger box availability due to bankruptcies.