Kelly Wilson – More than Retail!

Nov9
2018
Posted by
Marketing Staff

Our Retail division is excited to introduce Kelly Wilson to the team.

Kelly, one of the top retail brokers in metro Atlanta, recently joined Ackerman Retail as a senior vice president. She will focus on third-party leasing as part of a Landlord Representation team that includes Executive Vice President Courtney Brumbelow.

“Kelly brings a unique mix of expertise, including landlord and tenant representation in combination with her experience in restaurant ownership and franchise development,” said Leo Wiener, president of Ackerman Retail. “We’re thrilled to add Kelly to our team.”

She started her commercial real estate career in the restaurant sector, owning and operating several businesses before becoming a franchise director for Blimpie Subs and Sandwiches and later Raving Brands (Moe’s Southwest Grill, Doc Green’s, Shane’s Rib Shack, Flying Biscuit Café and more).

This experience expanded Kelly’s involvement in commercial real estate and site selection, ultimately leading to her current focus – retail leasing.

Most recently, she launched the third-party landlord representation platform at The Windsor Realty Group.

Among her current exclusive leasing assignments is Marietta Square Market Food Hall – which she has 100% pre-leased. The highly anticipated food hall is scheduled to open in early 2019.

Kelly’s talents extend beyond commercial real estate.

Her extensive musical theatre resume includes performances in touring Broadway plays such as South Pacific (with Robert Goulet), Theater of the Stars at The Fox Theatre and 1940’s Radio Hour at Theatre in the Square in Marietta, Ga.

Kelly has also been the lead singer in a variety of country and rock ‘n roll cover bands, singing songs by the likes of Journey and Melissa Etheridge.

Gina DeRaffele: Lasting Relationships Produce Continued Success

Aug20
2018
Posted by
Marketing Staff

For nearly a decade, Gina DeRaffele has been one of our top brokers at Ackerman & Co.

Specializing in office properties, she takes pride in developing strong relationships with her clients to gain a clear understanding of their long-term real estate needs. This approach enables Gina to consistently close the most advantageous leases on behalf of her clients at the most competitive rates.

This year is holding true to form for Gina – once again, she has completed several high-profile office leases in the Atlanta market.

Thanks to that success, she was recently named Ackerman’s Broker of the Month.

One of her major transactions this year is a five-year lease extension and expansion on behalf of GoHealth Urgent Care. The 17,621 SF lease extension and 10,194 SF expansion will increase the healthcare provider’s headquarters space at Glenridge Highlands One in Sandy Springs to a total of 27,815 SF.

“It’s really a pleasure to be able to establish lasting relationships like this and help provide a solution that accommodates their ongoing growth,” Gina said. “It’s one of the most gratifying aspects of working in this industry.”

Since 2000, Gina has completed nearly 200 transactions totaling approximately 3.5 million square feet, and she’s consistently been recognized for her transaction volume and client service.

Meet the Team that Lands the Deals

Jul20
2018
Posted by
Marketing Staff

The Land Group, a brokerage team made up of land experts from Ackerman & Co. and the Pioneer Land Group, has represented owners in land sales that have paved the way for many noteworthy housing and commercial real estate developments across the Southeast.

The Group’s $300+ million in transactions is a direct result of their expertise in:

  • Carrying out a creative marketing strategy
  • Addressing key site challenges needed to close transactions and maximize land value
  • Applying proven negotiating skills
  • Leveraging strong relationships with developers and users to identify prospective buyers

The end result is a consistent track record of completing a high percentage of sales above the asking price for land owners.

Now let’s introduce you to the team that’s been so successful completing these deals:

John Speros, senior vice president of brokerage and leader of the Ackerman Land Group. With nearly 30 years of commercial real estate experience, John focuses on high-profile land parcels in major growth corridors of Atlanta and the Southeast. He has been honored twice with the Alvin B. Cates Award for the most significant and outstanding commercial real estate transaction in Atlanta.

John Thomas Speros (JT) and Will Goff – JT and Will provide expertise needed to complete land deals,  including analysis, underwriting, research and an in-depth understanding of current supply and demand factors.

Kyle Grable – Kyle, an experienced land broker at the Pioneer Land Group, is a valued partner with extensive experience completing sales and acquisitions. He provides clients crucial information on the many variables that impact the viability of a parcel of land targeted for development.

The complementary skills of the team enables them to succeed at their core mission: to maximize pricing for clients.

Next up – we’ll detail some of the Land Group’s biggest and most influential transactions!

Distributors Gravitating to Properties Closer to Atlanta’s Urban Core

Jun8
2018
Posted by
Brett Buckner, Senior Vice President

Now more than ever, retailers are locating distribution centers as close as possible to the urban cores of major cities.

It’s the reason that e-commerce giant Amazon – which is now offering product deliveries in under two hours – operates three distribution centers in metro Atlanta, the 9th largest metro area in the U.S.

Amazon’s current metro Atlanta distribution facilities are located in Braselton, Lithia Springs and Union City, and the company is reportedly scouting a fourth location in Stone Mountain, approximately 20 miles east of downtown Atlanta.

With the site’s proximity to a large portion of its Atlanta customer base, the Stone Mountain location would no doubt support Amazon’s increasingly speedy delivery goals. The project would also be a rarity in Atlanta – a multi-story distribution facility. By building up, Amazon would be able to pack more square footage per acre.

Amazon-Stone-Mountain-Blog-ImageAmazon’s search for sites closer to Atlanta’s urban core mirrors Ackerman’s ongoing industrial investment strategy in metro Atlanta.

In addition to developing major projects such as Braselton Logistics Center Phases I and II in outlying submarkets that offer crucial interstate access, Ackerman is focused on strategic investments in locations near the city’s fast-growing “intown” submarkets.

A prime example is Ackerman’s biggest acquisition to date – Stone Mountain Industrial Park, a 4.1-million-square-foot business park offering distributors a wide-ranging mix of shallow-bay space. More recently, Ackerman acquired LaVista Business Park, a 4-building, 217,089-square-foot business center also located in the Stone Mountain industrial submarket. Both business parks offer quick access to I-285 and the rest of Atlanta’s extensive interstate network.

Like us, Amazon and other retailers know the value of close-in locations that provide quick access to Atlanta’s growing population and the opportunity for last-mile distribution to customers.

Brett BucknerFor more information, contact:

Brett Buckner | 770.913.3923  
bbuckner@ackermanco.net

Ackerman & Co.’s Hotel Project in Augusta Contributing to City’s Economic Resurgence

May10
2018
Posted by
Marketing Department

SunTrust Park in Atlanta isn’t the only new ballpark in Georgia serving as a catalyst for economic development.

About 140 miles east of Atlanta, the first baseball game was recently played at SRP Park, the new home of the Augusta GreenJackets minor league team.

Like SunTrust Park – which is surrounded by the mixed-use Battery Atlanta – the 4,200-steat SRP Park is part of an ambitious multi-use development, Riverside Village. Dubbed a “live-work-play destination,” the project is bringing a total of $200 million in new development to North Augusta, S.C., across the Savannah River from downtown Augusta. Ga.

Crowne Plaza Riverside Village, located next to the new baseball stadium, is one of the key components of the project. A development partnership between Ackerman & Co. and Greenstone Properties, the 180-key hotel is slated to open in January 2019 and will feature a rooftop bar, a conference center, a restaurant and ballroom.

The project is part of Ackerman’s ongoing strategic investment in cities beyond its core market of Atlanta.

“It’s exciting to participate in a project like this that is helping to spur tourism and expand the business base of metro Augusta,” said Kris Miller.Augusta-Crowne-Plaza_blog-image_In addition to boosting tourism, Riverside Village aims to attract long-term residents with Ironwood Apartments (a 300-unit Class A apartment building) as well as single-family homes, condominiums and senior living residences.

Riverside Village will also include a vibrant town center, high-quality office space, wide-ranging dining options, and premier national and local retailers.

SRP Park has been packed with large crowds since its opening, and the completion of other projects are sure to generate even greater economic benefits for metro Augusta.

Noted an editorial in The North Augusta Star newspaper, “The ballpark and surrounding Riverside Village development can best be summed up as a symbol of North Augusta taking the next step as a city and must-stop destination for visitors.”

Commercial Real Estate Outlook 2018: Annual Investor Conference

Feb12
2018
Posted by
Marketing Staff

“Supply and demand has never been in better balance,” Kris Miller told the more than 100 guests at Ackerman & Co. 11th Investor Conference, recently held in Atlanta.

He added that the ongoing strong demand for product – and lack of overbuilding in sectors such as office during this cycle – puts Atlanta in position to be a leading market for investors in 2018 and beyond.

The company’s annual Investor Conference is an opportunity for Ackerman & Co. to provide perspective on trends in commercial real estate and for guests to network with leading owners, operators, investors and capital sources.

Conference themes are sometimes broad in scope but this year the focus was squarely on the Atlanta market as Kris Miller addressed the question:  Atlanta – the Next Gateway Market?

Atlanta lacks the land constraints, barriers to entry or “24/7” attributes of established gateway cities such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Boston. Yet, Miller added, Atlanta’s diversified economy, success at attracting corporate relocations and growth as an entertainment hub are bringing it closer to the status of a gateway market.

Together with his partner F. Keene Miller (President, Brokerage) and Leo Wiener (President, Retail), Brett Buckner (SVP, Industrial), John Willig (Principal) and Evan Ziegler (SVP, Investment), the speakers offered insights into the investment climate in the office, industrial, retail and medical office sectors.

Some highlights from this year’s conference:

  • Economic drivers including the 2017 tax plan and the easing of numerous regulations are likely to free up money for capital investment and boost demand for CRE space.
  • The continued strong performance of the Atlanta industrial sector – which posted 19.9 million square feet of absorption in 2017 and is experiencing historically low vacancy levels – puts Atlanta’s growth potential ahead of the top 4 industrial markets (New York/New Jersey, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas).
  • Fundamentals weakened slightly in the office sector in 2017, but there are still excellent investment opportunities for the right property in the right location across Atlanta’s office submarkets.
  • Although the retail sector is out of favor amid store closings, “brick and mortar is not dead” and good retail product is available but at high cap rates.
  • Strong demographics continue to fuel investment in medical office space, as does the heightened demand for “convenience” medical space located near retail.

Kris and the team enjoyed hosting the conference and look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

Low Vacancy Rates, Strategic Location Drive Ackerman & Co.’s Latest Industrial Acquisition

Nov10
2017
Posted by
Marketing Staff

801 Blacklawn_Truck photo

The Snapfinger/I-20 East industrial submarket is one of the tightest in Atlanta, with a vacancy rate of only 3.1 percent for all types of industrial product as of Q3 2017 – compared to 6.9 percent for the entire Atlanta market.

In addition to the extremely low vacancy levels – a clear indicator of strong demand – the submarket offers a strategic location for distributors.

These are two key reasons Ackerman & Co. decided to expand its Atlanta industrial portfolio with the acquisition of 801 Blacklawn Road, a 115,540-square-foot distribution facility in the Snapfinger/I-20 East submarket.

801 Blacklawn offers some of the best interstate access in the submarket, with two I-20 interchanges located only ½ and 1 ½ mile from the property.

 

The convenient location provides distributors connectivity to markets throughout the Southeast and to the fast-growing ports of Savannah and Charleston – located 234 and 292 miles away, respectively. Crucially, the property’s location just east of Atlanta enables distributors to avoid Atlanta’s most congested stretches of interstate to access the ports.

“This was an excellent opportunity to purchase well-located, shallow-bay space in a 44-million-square-foot Atlanta industrial submarket to provide additional high-quality space options for tenants, including distributors seeking last-mile service to consumers,” explained Kris Miller, President of Ackerman.

The shallow-bay design is a feature 801 Blacklawn shares with recent Ackerman acquisitions at Lavista Business Park in the Tucker/Stone Mountain submarket and Westgate Business Park in the I-20 West/Fulton industrial submarket.

Shallow-bay facilities (including 801 Blacklawn) typically offer multiple entries and flexible space options suitable to a wide range of users. Due to increasing demand for shallow-bay product and a lack of new supply, this property type is an attractive investment opportunity.

Ackerman Senior Vice President Frank Farrell is leading leasing efforts at the property, which has 19,660 square feet available, including 1,040 square feet of office space.

Can You Name that Skyscraper?

Oct19
2017
Posted by
Marketing Staff

How Well Do You Know Atlanta's Skyline?

When you drive through the city along Interstate 75/85, Atlanta’s signature skyscrapers are prominently in view. Our skyline has grown over the years along with the city’s prominence as a business center.

Atlanta ranks #9 in the U.S. in the number of skyscrapers 150 meters or higher in height and there are 16 towers above 150 meters tall in the city. A new skyscraper will join that club if the Opus Place condominium tower is developed as planned in Midtown Atlanta.

 

So, how well do you know Atlanta’s skyscrapers? Here’s a fun test – see if you can “name that skyscraper” based on the clues provided below.

 

Let’s begin:

  • The city’s first revolving lounge occupies the spaceship-shaped top of this tower.
  • This tower houses the U.S. headquarters of a firm named after Atlanta’s most renowned architect.
  • Featuring an obelisk-shaped spire, this skyscraper was the 9th-tallest building in the world when it was completed in 1992.
  • The exterior of this tower looks like a staircase.
  • This building has a pair of identical rooftop crowns that total 7 stories in height.
  • This cylindrical glass skyscraper was the tallest hotel in the world when it was completed in 1976.
  • Also known as Symphony Tower, this was the first office building in Atlanta to achieve LEED Gold status.
  • The green color of this tower’s distinctive crown is a result of copper oxidation.
  • This tower’s wide lower portion is due to the spectacular atrium within the building’s walls.

 

Click here for the answers

 

 

Atlanta Real Estate Icon Charlie Ackerman

Sep29
2017
Posted by
Marketing Staff

Remembering Charles S. Ackerman

Charles S. Ackerman, our founder and friend, passed away on Friday, September 22, at the age of 84. Charlie – as he was called by so many of his friends and colleagues – was a visionary who changed the skyline of Buckhead Atlanta and established the commercial real estate company that bears his name as one of the largest in the Southeast.

Beyond his business accomplishments, he was a philanthropist, and a friend and mentor to many.

On his passing, we share the thoughts of just a few of Charlie’s friends and colleagues.

“Charlie was a real estate legend. He was a great mentor, my partner, and my friend. He crammed 20 times more ‘life’ into his life than most of us will.” Kris Miller, President, Ackerman & Co.

“Charlie was a bold and future-focused real estate innovator. He was a wise and courageous entrepreneur, broker, investor and owner. His vision and leadership guided Ackerman & Co. to its highly respected position over many years.” Bob Mathews, President and CEO, Colliers International Atlanta

“A wonderful friend and inspirational mentor. I feel truly blessed to have worked with Charlie for the last 21 years.” Vivian Barnes, CFO and EVP, Ackerman & Co.

“Charlie was a broker’s broker: aggressive, creative and very smart,” Andy Ghertner, Co-Founder of Cushman & Wakefield Atlanta.

“Charlie was a truly inspiring leader. He not only grew Ackerman & Co. into a highly successful commercial real estate firm but later went on to found Ackerman Security Systems, which set the standard in home security. What an extraordinary life he led, and what a great experience it was to be his friend and learn from him over the years.” Keene Miller, President, Ackerman & Co. Brokerage Division

“He was the most competitive person I ever encountered. Whatever it took, he had to be No. 1. He had to win. He had to be out front. And he achieved it in every category.” Sam Massell, Buckhead Coalition President and former Atlanta Mayor

“While I recognized Charlie Ackerman was a fiercely competitive individual, I also thought of him as a gentle, passionate person – exuding a passion for the cultures and arts and history of mankind in all corners of the world. Charlie Ackerman was demanding, competitive, a perfectionist. But he also always was a true gentleman.” John Schaffner, founder of Buckhead View

Ackerman & Co.’s Broker of the Month: Ben Campbell

Sep21
2017
Posted by
Marketing Staff

2969 East Ponce De Leon_Ackerman

As the old saying goes, “location, location, location” is all-important in commercial real estate.

Ben Campbell, who has been named Ackerman & Co.’s Broker of the Month for August (based on total transaction value), focuses on land sales in sought-after intown Atlanta districts such as Decatur, Avondale Estate and Old Fourth Ward.

One of the properties he was selected to market back in 2015 definitely had a strong location going for it. The property – containing a 37,750 square foot warehouse building and an additional 3.1 acres of land for sale – was located at 2969 East Ponce de Leon Avenue directly across from the busy DeKalb Farmers Market. That section of road had a high traffic count of 26,000 vehicles per day, a number that was likely to increase significantly with the planned expansion of the market that would triple its size.

Clearly, this was a prime opportunity for re-development.

The property became more challenging to market, however, with proposed modifications to the lane configuration on Ponce that would benefit DeKalb Farmers Market while eliminating direct access to the 2969 Ponce de Leon property.

However, Ben displayed useful traits of successful brokers – tenacity and determination – and closed the sale of the property for $2.2 million two-and-a-half years after he was selected by owner Custom Slip Cover & Upholstery. During that time, he came very close to reaching deals with two buyers who ultimately backed out due to concerns over the property’s access.

In August, his persistence paid off when he closed the property’s sale with a buyer (Oakhurst Realty Partners) who saw the potential of the strategic location inside the I-285 perimeter and plans to revitalize the property for future lease or sale.

The sale of 2969 Ponce de Leon earned Ben the Broker of the Month recognition. Ben said it was a great experience getting to know the two owners of the business and partnering with them to provide a solution that will contribute to their long-term success.

“It was a pleasure to work with the owners of that property, Chean Chea and Miguel Moreno. They’re dedicated to their field of work and the community, and this transaction will enable them to relocate to new space that’s ideal for their business,” Ben said.

In addition to the Ponce de Leon sale, Ben closed another large transaction earlier this year: the sale of a 3.2-acre parcel in the city of Avondale Estates to South City Partners that will be the site of a major mixed-use project.

Ben is currently working on numerous land listings in his core intown markets and others in metro Atlanta. Contact him at 770-913-3931 if you’re interested in any of these opportunities or would like him to market one of your properties for sale.