Atlanta, a sprawling southeastern hub and the ninth largest metropolitan area in the US, offers a diverse range of office space. From luxurious suburban office parks in Buckhead to growing tech companies in the urban core. Corporations play a large role in the overall economy here and is the third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies, including Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, and UPS.
The large influx of college graduates staying in the urban core that contributes to the growing tech sector in Midtown and Downtown area. Known for its highly educated workforce, there is an expanding group of millennials with a work/live/play mentality in the urban core. Atlanta is commonly nicknamed the “Silicone Peach” for its job growth in technology. Not only that but there is a large focus on entrepreneurship and small business owners which is evident in the city’s investment with innovation centers.
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Atlanta's thriving economy is a unique combination of old and new, where an innovative spirit and forward-looking focus build on tradition and history. Alpharetta is a perfect example of the region's innovation and drive as the newest of Atlanta's submarkets but already an economic force that appeals to companies and industries with an eye on the future.
The relative youth of many of Alpharetta's commercial properties means the submarket consists almost exclusively of Class A and A- space that caters to mid-sized and larger companies that require both a corporate and back-office presence. Average square footage is approximately 7,500 sq ft with rents around $24/sq ft. Coworking has become a powerful movement in Alpharetta and is the focus of several new developments. A nominal inventory of industrial space as well as limited smaller spaces are available in the area but are hard to find and move very quickly.
Being the financial epicenter of the Atlanta MSA means Buckhead is home to several investment, banking, real estate, and insurance firms. The submarket also attracts other industries as the wildly successful Atlanta Tech Village will soon merge with the adjacent Techrise to further enhance Buckhead's technology incubator environment.
The area primarily features Class A office space but also boasts a solid inventory of Class B as well. Coworker facilities in Buckhead are both abundant and densely populated to match the growing trend seen throughout the world. Companies looking for larger space will find that AIG and Salesforce have claimed most of the bigger blocks of inventory with each of their leases exceeding 75,000 sq ft.The average square footage for space in Buckhead is approximately 5,000 sq ft with rents averaging $34.50/sq ft. Parking is adequate in the submarket and typically paid outside of the western edge of Buckhead. One of the most notable projects in the submarket is the reinvention of Phipps Plaza into a mixed-use environment with hotel, office, and residential developments replacing. The new Phipps Plaza is replacing older big-box retail and injecting the market with both excitement and additional commercial inventory.
Much of Atlanta's thriving economy stems from its flexibility and universal appeal. The Central Perimeter area of Greater Atlanta embodies this dynamic with a growing emphasis on mixed-use developments and the live-work-play ideal that makes it one of the region's most robust and influential areas.
The average square footage for space in Central Perimeter is 4,000 sq ft at an average rent of $27.80/sq ft. Parking is abundant and free throughout the area with few exceptions and will serve Central Perimeter's robust growth well. Much of that growth focuses on mixed-use developments that provide the region with additional office, retail, dining, and residential space to satisfy the growing demand for attractive work/life options.
Most of the available inventory is in small to mid-size space ranging from 5,000 to 25,000 sq ft at rents of $20.25/sq ft. Businesses looking for space of 50,000 sq ft or more will find the Wildwood complex offers nearly all of the larger blocks of space in the submarket. Smaller suites are also hard to find in Northwest Atlanta and are always in strong demand.
Cumberland Community Improvement District is one of the strongest CID's in the region and actively advances public infrastructure projects that benefit local businesses as well as the community itself.
The area's many amenities are another powerful draw for talent into Northwest Atlanta. The new baseball stadium, SunTrust Park, is a massive catalyst for business throughout the region with the adjacent multi-use area known as The Battery introducing fresh retail, restaurants, and concert venues as well. Nearby Cumberland Mall provides even more dining and shopping options for employees and visitors to the region.
Commercial real estate in Decatur and East Atlanta focuses on the vital but often overlooked small business segment that includes a wide variety of locally owned sole proprietorships and small partnerships. The submarket specializes in providing the 1,000 sq ft space that is either in extremely short supply or nonexistent in other areas of Greater Atlanta. Rents for these spaces average $28/sq ft across the submarket.Coworking facilities have difficulty establishing a foothold in this submarket due to the lack of available space as well as the local alternatives. Downtown Decatur and Ponce City Market are exceptions to this notion where a handful of large national operators have established a presence. Tenants and patrons of the area are accustomed to Decatur's limited parking and gravitate towards alternative transportation that avoids parking issues altogether. This dynamic will only continue to grow in strength as the Beltline project progresses and further emphasizes alternative transportation along with its quality-of-life initiatives.
Downtown Atlanta isn’t your typical urban epicenter. While it houses several government agencies just like most capital cities, it also fosters a diverse and vibrant atmosphere to form a unique environment that companies from a variety of industries can't help but gravitate towards.
Downtown is popular with law firms and other professionals that work with the area's many government entities but also attracts companies from other industries as well. The submarket has a vacancy rate of just over 12% and offers numerous smaller space options of mostly older Class A and Class B properties. The Peachtree Center offers dozens of smaller lease options while Bank of America Tower and the Georgia Pacific Center have several large blocks of inventory available.Downtown rents average $25.90/sq ft and leases typically include one parking space per 1,000 sq ft of leased space with monthly costs between $60 and $150. Much of the recent construction activity focuses on residential options for both professionals and students as demonstrated by Castleberry Hill and the future Gulch development. There is a palpable excitement for the commercial future of Downtown Atlanta as the new ownership and vision for the Underground area and the South Peachtree corridor appear to be building on past missteps to successfully strategize for the future.
The Gwinnett submarket of the Greater Atlanta area is a study in appealing contrasts. Large corporations neighbor the region’s many smaller, eclectic businesses in an environment that balances vast natural beauty with a vibrant economic heart. Gwinnett typifies both the charm and drive of Atlanta’s economy and won’t be slowing down any time soon.
Companies will find commercial space segmented by location within the Gwinnett submarket. Areas further north feature larger companies that use the concentrated residential neighborhoods as an employee base. Smaller companies cluster around the 285 corridor to flesh out a diverse local economy that is especially attractive to the telecom industry.
The law firms that traditionally gravitated towards Midtown are stepping aside for a tremendous influx of enterprises from the technology sector. That surge in popularity gives the submarket the lowest vacancy rate in the entire Atlanta MSA at just 9%. There is no indication of that intense demand for inventory relenting anytime soon as the over 1 million sq ft vacated by AT&T and the 2 million sq ft under construction are almost entirely pre-leased.
Companies will find a mix of Class A office space along with the largest inventory of technology and incubator space in the entire Atlanta market. Coworking in Midtown also has the biggest footprint of any submarket in the region. The average square footage is 3,800 sq ft with rents pushing upwards to $36/sq ft.
Parking continues to be tight in Midtown but is improving due to alternative transportation options as well as an increasing amount of people both working and living in the area. These trends will continue going forward, particularly with the prevalence of mixed-use developments that are attracting younger generation workers into Midtown.
The many amenities in and around North Fulton are another powerful tool to draw talent into the city from throughout the Atlanta MSA. The Avalon development has been a massive success in the area with Phase I leased out immediately and Phase II already under construction. The incredibly popular area provides a vibrant atmosphere, several retail, dining, and entertainment options, as well as single-family residences and luxury apartments.
Northwest Atlanta headquarters several large corporations like Home Depot, Synovus, Floor & Decor, and many more. Cobb County's friendly stance towards business as well as the submarket’s unique qualities and amenities account for much of this popularity. Many mid-sized firms from a variety of industries also favor the Northwest to give the area a diverse and well-rounded industry base. The region has not been a haven for technology firms in the past but that trend is now beginning to change as tech is starting to take root in the area.
The Northwest workforce also enjoys convenient access to green space through the Silver Comet Trail, a popular biking, running, and walking path. The Chattahoochee River expands on that convenience by offering numerous outdoor activities of its own. These many amenities along with a thriving economy and solid employment base make the Northwest submarket an attractive location for companies in the Atlanta MSA.