Thursday, March 10, 2011

In With the Local, Out With the National...

As someone who lives just a couple hours from Atlanta and frequently visits the city, I pay close attention to many of its signature projects, including Atlantic Station.

Recently, the massive former brownfield site was sold and the new owners are looking to give the fascinating project a more local feel:

AIG Global Real Estate Investment Corp., which backed Jacoby Development’s creation, hit hard times in the financial crises and had to sell its holdings in the project. CB Richard Ellis late last year bought AIG’s interests — the retail portion, an office tower and the remaining vacant land — for about $173 million, according to DataBank Atlanta, as well as the two distressed apartment buildings.

As the fixer, Toro has arrived at a crucial time. The retail portion of the project opened to much hoopla in 2005, but only had a couple of years of economic fair weather before the recession set in.

Toro plans to fine-tune the tenants by adding locally owned shops and restaurants, as well as fix major issues faced by residents and workers. With CBRE involved, Toro says he can spend the millions of dollars it could take to reinvent Atlantic Station.

Read the entire article, here.

This trend is likely to continue as high gas prices and the inability to sell houses (and thus relocate jobs) "re-localizes" our cities even more.

Chad Emerson

Development, Economic Development, Georgia | Permalink

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Interesting article, Chad. I, too, visit Atlantic Station from time-to-time. I'm one of the folks who sometimes drives straight to IKEA and back out again, but occasionally we dine at Rosa Mexicana or take in a movie. The development has always struck me as Disney-like and dominated by chains. Hopefully they can get a mix of commercial tenants, but I'm not sure the place will ever feel organic.

Posted by: Jamie Baker Roskie | Mar 22, 2011 2:28:49 PM