ATLANTA—Buckhead is booming. Salesforce plans to double its footprint there to 50,000 square feet office space. Sharecare, a healthcare information provider, recently leased 30,000 square feet of office space in the Atlanta submarket. And developers are breaking ground on a 500,000-square-foot spec office building that should hit the market in 2016.
And that’s just on the office front. There’s also plenty going on in multifamily. Apartment developers will bring nearly 10,000 multifamily units online this year with a strong emphasis on Buckhead, along with Downtown and Midtown Atlanta.
So what about retail? GlobeSt.com asked Monetha Cobb, managing director of Franklin Street of Atlanta, for her thoughts on Buckhead retail in the final installment of this exclusive interview. You can still read parts one and two: Let the Retail Bidding Wars Begin and Good and Bad News for Atlanta Retailers.
GlobeSt.com: Recently, Buckhead is experiencing more activity. Buckhead Atlanta has opened, the Lenox Square renovation is wrapping up, and Phipps Plaza announced a hotel and additional renovations. What sets each of these properties, all located within a mile or so of each other, apart?
Cobb: Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza are both owned by Simon, so they seem to be working in tandem with those projects to keep the northern end of Peachtree retail fresh. Lenox is tried-and-true, filled with retailers who have brand identity.
The majority of the retailers aren’t super high-end, but the mall is a known destination throughout the Southeast. At Phipps, Simon seems to be more focused on generating more of the “live” element for the project by adding a residential component and a hotel. Buckhead Atlanta is far more experiential shoppers currently and is filled with high-end luxury stores, many of which are new for not only Atlanta, but the Southeast.
GlobeSt.com: What sort of activity has there been around Buckhead Atlanta?
Cobb: Space in highly sought after submarkets has pushed retailers and restaurants to be more creative or flexible in the type of spaces they would consider. This is especially true in and around Buckhead Atlanta.
If you can’t be in the project, there are certainly opportunities in the general vicinity that most retail operators wouldn’t even consider two years ago. For example, a former liquor store with limited parking and somewhat challenging access has been successful in completely re-tenanting with more traditional apparel and furnishing retailers.
There have also been many properties in the immediate vicinity of Buckhead Atlanta that have been owned for many years and are just now being developed into office, hotel, or multifamily space. That’s in addition to a few recently acquired, smaller retail projects that are getting a facelift and an updated tenant roster.