Jan2
2020
Posted by
Marketing Staff

Brokers are vital to the success of every full-service real estate company, and Ackerman & Co. is fortunate to have a talented, diverse team ranging from young associate brokers to veterans with 40-plus years of experience.

At the close of every year, Ackerman & Co. recognizes brokers on both ends of that spectrum with its Broker Awards.

We’re excited to announce that John Speros is the recipient of our Broker of the Year Award and Kris Redding is our Young Broker of the Year.

Another Stand-Out Year for Veteran Broker

One of Ackerman’s most experienced and high-producing brokers, John Speros has been with the firm since 2009. He has expertise in virtually every type of commercial real estate transaction, from the sale of land parcels for single-family, multifamily and mixed-use developments to the disposition of portfolios and the acquisition of sites for commercial and residential development. His current focus is the representation of owners in land sales as leader of the Ackerman/Pioneer Land Group with Kyle Gable.

This past year has been one of John’s most productive, which is saying a lot for someone who has received multiple high-profile Atlanta market awards throughout his career – including recognition as the second-highest producing commercial land broker in 2010 and receiving the Alvin B. Cates Award for the most significant commercial real estate transaction in 2003 and 2007.

In 2019, John completed land transactions totaling nearly $75 million. Some of his biggest transactions include the $7.3-million sale of 35 acres in Gwinnett County that will become the site of the 330-unit Alta Sugarloaf multifamily complex and the $8.9-million sale of 152 acres in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., that will be used to expand a public park.

“We’re very fortunate to have someone with John’s experience and ability. He has been a key member of our team for years, and it’s great to see him have another hugely successful year,” said Kris Miller.

What stands out most about John to Kyle Gable is his combination of commercial real estate expertise and his willingness to serve as a mentor to younger brokers.

“I think there are two main qualities that make John so good in the land business. The first is his overall knowledge of all the different types of land transactions – he brings an array of knowledge to the table that most brokers just don’t have,” Gable said. “Second is his ability to get a deal closed. John understands the complexity of real estate and how to get the deal across the goal line.”

Kyle himself has benefited from John’s generosity in sharing his expertise. “When I was a 26-year-old with limited land experience, John took me under his wing and showed me how to work on land transactions and ultimately get them closed. In working with him over the past 10 years, I have seen him spend time with many young brokers teaching them about real estate,” he said.

Young Broker Hitting His Stride

A former NFL and Canadian Football League player, Kris Redding began his real estate career during the 2015 off season and now represents clients in both lease and sales transactions. Since joining Ackerman in 2017, he has demonstrated an ability to grow client relationships and become a valued partner in helping them achieve their business goals.

“It’s an honor to receive this award.” said Redding. “Ackerman’s prestige, tenured relationships within the industry, prolific resources and internal support system have provided me with a platform that has galvanized my ability to be productive in our business.” This productivity earned him a place in the NAIOP Million Dollar Club for completing more than $4 million in office leases in 2018.

Kris’s major deals in 2019 include representing Academy Orthopedics in the $5.26 million sale of its North Atlanta medical office portfolio. He also completed three lease transactions concurrently at Phoenix Business Campus with Worker’s United Southern Region, Primerica and Good Ground Development Center in five-year leases totaling 18,314 square feet.

“Kris brings the same hard-working and tenacious work ethic to real estate brokerage as he did to football. We look forward to seeing him continue his growth in commercial real estate as an important part of our brokerage team,” said Miller.

Read more about our brokerage group here: https://www.ackermanco.com/real-estate-services/overview/

Sep26
2019
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Marketing Staff

Lee + White has become a hip entertainment and nightlife hub in the West End neighborhood of Atlanta, offering breweries, restaurants, food manufacturers and unique retailers.

In purchasing the property with MDH Partners, Ackerman & Co. plans to expand the project’s appeal by diversifying development to include a food hall, loft offices and additional retail.

Initially constructed as industrial buildings in the 1950s and 1960s, the property was recently redeveloped by prior owner Stream Realty Partners. “We’ll be investing significant capital to continue the development of this site,” noted Ackerman & Co. Brokerage President Keene Miller.

Tenants are united by their strong attachment to the West End community and their pride in being a part of a pioneering intown Atlanta development.

Ackerman & Co. is equally committed to becoming a part of the community and plans to hold public hearings to get input on its development plans.

While Lee + White has some similarities to other notable adaptive reuse projects in Atlanta, Ackerman Retail President Leo Wiener pointed out some key differences in an interview with Bisnow.

“This is not Ponce City [Market]. We’re not going after corporate,” he said. “We just think it’s a little more edgy and gritty with the feel. We want to stay true to the neighborhood.” Like Ponce City Market, Lee + White benefits from its location steps away from the Atlanta BeltLine.

Current tenants include Monday Night Brewing, Wild Heaven Beer, Best End Brewing Co., ASW Whiskey Exchange, Hop City Craft Beer & Wine, Plywood People, Honeysuckle Gelato, Cultured South Fermentation Co., Doux South Pickles, Boxcar restaurant, Overlook Boulder + Fitness, MacStadium, and United Way of Greater Atlanta.

“Lee + White is an exciting investment for us,” said Ackerman President Kris Miller. “Stream showed vision in transforming these properties into a popular entertainment and food and beverage destination. There’s an excellent value-add opportunity for us to diversify with additional development.”

Leo Wiener and Retail Senior Vice President Kelly Wilson will lead the restaurant and retail leasing efforts at the property. Porter Henritze and Sonia Winfield, directors at Cushman & Wakefield, will represent ownership in office leasing.

We’ll be providing updates on the development plans, so be sure to visit our blog and the Lee + White Instagram page for the latest!

Aug20
2019
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Marketing Staff

Slutty Vegan has come a long way in a short time.

Owner Pinky Cole started selling her plant-based burgers from a food truck in August 2018.

Since then, she has opened her first brick & mortar location in the West End neighborhood of Atlanta and signed leases for her second and third Atlanta restaurants.

Bryan Davis, senior vice president of retail services for Ackerman Retail, represented Pinky Cole in the long-term lease for the third Slutty Vegan restaurant, which will be located at 482 Edgewood Avenue just east of downtown Atlanta in the rapidly developing Edgewood Avenue retail district. Bryan will continue representing Pinky Cole in her restaurant expansion.

Her business has been a huge success, as demonstrated by the long lines of customers that regularly form outside the restaurant and food truck. The City of Atlanta even recently issued a proclamation commemorating Slutty Vegan’s success.

Generating buzz on social media has been key to the growth of the Slutty Vegan brand. Cole’s Instagram page, which now boasts more than 250,000 followers, showcases videos of celebrities such as Tyler Perry, Snoop Dog, Usher and Jermaine Dupri enjoying burgers with names like One Night Stand, Fussy Hussy (shown above) and Dancehall Queen.

Slutty Vegan also actively promotes the vegan lifestyle. The food truck is covered with a variety of pro-vegan slogans: “Vegan and Proud,” Save the World, Save the Animals,” “Vegan for the Culture” and more.

Want to read more about the Slutty Vegan success story? Check out these articles in national news outlets The New York Times, Forbes and CNN and local coverage in Atlanta Magazine.

Aug9
2019
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Marketing Staff

This year’s Deloitte’s Commercial Real Estate Outlook Report focuses on how technology and changing tenant and investor expectations are ramping up competition and creating shifts in how products are sold or leased.

With these shifts, what can CRE Companies do to stay competitive and ensure they capture the rapidly growing demand?

Out-of-the-Box Properties and Business Plans – The report states that this year investors plan to increase their focus on mixed-use properties, nontraditional products and retail developments. Flexible leases and business spaces are also going to be an attractive investment.

Adaptability – Investors will be looking for the companies that can quickly respond to the rapidly changing waters of the CRE business world, whether it be with new business models or by adopting “a variety of technologies to make buildings future-ready.”

Tech-savvy presence – To attract potential investors, companies need to be able to stay shoulder to shoulder with technology and present technological agility in the way they market their properties and in their business plans.

Catering to investor and tenant needs should move CRE companies to have a different perspective on the way they do business. By increasing mixed-use, nontraditional and retail products in their portfolios, becoming more adaptable to the changes in the industry and using technological advancements in their favor, CRE companies can change with the industry and be ready for the future to come.

Jul19
2019
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Marketing Staff

Two Class A industrial buildings – totaling 135,000 SF and 185,000 SF – are ready for occupancy at Rockdale Technology Center, Ackerman & Co.’s newest state-of-the-art industrial development.

Located east of Atlanta in Conyers, Ga., the state-of-the-art industrial park will ultimately offer 1 million square feet of the highest-quality distribution space available in Atlanta’s I-20 East submarket.

Ackerman is targeting e-commerce operations, technology companies, medical companies and logistic providers, among other users. The multi-phase development will house space users that will bring hundreds of jobs to the city of Conyers, Ga.

Brett Buckner, who is leading leasing efforts at the development, recently met up with Rockdale County Board of Commissioners Chairman Oz Nesbitt to discuss the development that has Rockdale County residents talking.

A video of the interview and a written recap are below:

Oz Nesbitt: I’m here at Rockdale Technology Center, 2430 Dogwood Drive, at the long-anticipated opening of this facility. People all over our county have been asking, “Mr. Chairman, what’s happening with Rockdale Technology Center?”

Brett, tell us about the decision to come to Rockdale County.

Brett Buckner: We bought a property down the road about a year ago. And when we got into the market we figured out there’s a niche here for shallow-bay type properties. So we purchased, about a year ago, 92 acres here to build shallow-bay buildings, meaning buildings that are short in depth. This lets us offer as little as 10,000 square feet and up to 135,000 square feet for this building and up to 185,000 square feet in the other building.

Oz Nesbitt: Tell us about the technology piece and how and why you landed on that particular name.

Brett Buckner: It was really a decision with several different people within the company and we thought the name technology, added with the great county we’re in, Rockdale, would attract not only manufacturers that are already out here but also people in the technology business. But we’re not just focused on those two industries. We also have warehouse properties that can accommodate some logistics and also medical-type companies as well.

Oz Nesbitt: You have a prime location. Tell us about I-20 and accessibility, being right here on a frontage road in Rockdale County on Dogwood Drive.

Brett Buckner: When we purchased the property, one of the things that attracted us to the site was the visibility, right here in front of this building. We hope to attract some tenants that can take advantage of that. We can accommodate somebody that needs the visibility or somebody that needs to have just pure warehouse/distribution as well.

Oz Nesbitt: So, Brett, we focused on the four “E’s” here in Rockdale County – Economic development, efficiency, execution and education. Tell me about the interaction with local county government and how they helped you get from point A to point Z. How was that experience for you and your company?

Brett Buckner: When we first started, we met with Marty Jones (executive director at Conyers Rockdale Economic Development Council) and Gina Hartsell (Film Rockdale project manager). They’ve been terrific to work with since the beginning, which was over a year ago. They’ve introduced us to tenants in the area as well as state-run projects. From a development standpoint, they’ve been absolutely terrific. We’re so pleased to be here.

Help is Here – Meet Our Summer Interns!

Jun14
2019
Posted by
Marketing Staff

As summer arrives, so does a new group of interns at Ackerman!

We recently sat down with our interns to discuss how they plan on applying their newly gained experience in the future.

“I’m very excited to be here,” said Emma Lonergan, who is working in the Marketing & Communications department. She is an incoming junior at Georgia College and State University. “I’m learning so much I can apply to my college classes and later in my career.”

Projects she’s working on with Fara Wilson and the marketing team include updating the organization of the promotional items inventory, which she will track and monitor throughout the summer. She’s also working on editorial assignments, including blog writing.

Also joining Ackerman’s Marketing team for the summer is Ellis Snell, who will be assisting in the department’s day-to-day activities and select projects. Ellis is headed to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) as a freshman this fall.

Harrison Bernhardt, an intern with the Brokerage team, tells us he looks forward to applying everything he learns this summer to his future dream job in commercial real estate. An incoming senior at the University of Georgia, he’s learning a lot from the brokers he’s working with, including how to knock on doors to canvas potential clients.

“I realized that real estate was a better fit for me than finance, my original major in college, because I enjoy working in the field and meeting people face-to-face,” he said.

Also spending the summer interning for the Brokerage group are Bart Kauffman (an incoming senior at Furman University) and Connor Barry (an incoming sophomore at the University of Southern California).

All three Brokerage interns are gaining valuable experience learning commercial real estate research programs as they help our brokers in their ongoing lease and sales efforts. That includes using CoStar, LandVision and other research tools to summarize market trends, prepare lease comparables and access various details on individual properties and owners.

Bart, Connor and Harrison are also getting a first-hand look at the types of projects Ackerman develops. They recently attended a BBQ event and tour at Rockdale Technology Center, the firm’s newest Class A industrial park. Connor and Harrison were responsible for transporting our brokerage guests across the park, and they assisted the Marketing team in setting up and closing down the event.

Alex Barnes (not pictured), an incoming junior at Georgia College and State University, is one of the interns supporting the HR department this summer.

He recently attended the company’s open enrollment benefits session, where he learned about the different healthcare and benefit options available to employees.

“This was incredibly eye-opening,” Alex said. “I was unaware of all the complexities involved in selecting healthcare coverage and the wide-ranging costs.” He’ll be able to call on this knowledge when he enters the workforce and goes through the process of selecting his own insurance.

It’s great to have these bright-eyed and bushy-tailed interns on board with us this summer. We have every confidence they’ll succeed in their future careers!

May17
2019
Posted by
Marketing Staff

Ackerman Retail is leasing exceptional ground-level retail space at 120 Piedmont Avenue, a prominent downtown Atlanta location.

We are offering up to 3,930 SF at the 26-story Georgia State University student housing and retail project dubbed “The Mix,” which is also home to a 4,000 SF RaceTrac. The soon-to-open store will be the first Racetrac of its kind in a mixed-use development when it opens this summer.

Ackerman Executive Vice President Courtney Brumbelow is representing the landlord in leasing the retail spaces. The ground-floor retail units will see plenty of foot traffic from students residing at The Mix (which will house up to 650 students), as well as from the approximately 2,000 students at four other Georgia State apartment buildings located across the street at University Commons.

Located at the corner of Piedmont and John Wesley Dobbs avenues, The Mix will offer students upscale amenities such as a resort-style pool, poolside cabanas, a fitness center, a dog park and yoga room. The RaceTrac will feature the store’s popular offerings such as a frozen yogurt station and coffee bar.

Apr26
2019
Posted by
Marketing Staff

PRIMO HOAGIES SANDY SPRINGS—FIRST IN GEORGIA—TO OPEN MAY 16

Primo Hoagies, a restaurant set to open in Sandy Springs on Thursday May 16, specializes in a sandwich that originated in South Philadelphia.

Can you guess the name of this famous sandwich?

Of course, it’s the Philly cheesesteak! Primo Hoagies, a New Jersey-based franchise, will offer that popular sandwich along with six varieties of its signature Italian hoagie at its first metro Atlanta location at Perimeter Town Center, a mixed-use center redeveloped and managed by Ackerman & Co.

Courtney Brumbelow, executive vice president for Ackerman Retail, completed a 1,750 SF long-term lease with franchisee Brian Ottaviano at the center earlier this year.

Brian has been busy attending to the many construction details at the space for the past several months. A Philadelphia native, Brian is excited to bring the restaurant’s gourmet hoagies so popular in Philly and South Jersey to the Southeast U.S.

“What differentiates Primo Hoagies is the quality of the ingredients and the master bakers who make our rolls on-site throughout the day,” Brian said. “We’re very proud of our hoagies and how they’re made, and now we get to share these sandwiches with the people of Atlanta.”

Although the cheesesteak sandwich is synonymous with the city that created it, don’t expect the walls of the Sandy Springs establishment to be covered with pictures the Philadelphia skyline or the city’s sports teams.

“I plan to embed myself in the community of Sandy Springs,” said Brian, who moved to Atlanta after attending Georgia Tech. “This is Atlanta’s restaurant.”

Founded in 1992, Primo Hoagies now operates nearly 100 locations across the East Coast, including as far south as South Carolina, Florida – and now Georgia.

Primo Hoagies is celebrating its first day at the restaurant chain’s first Atlanta-area location by giving free hoagies to the first 100 guests Thursday. Check out the Ackerman Retail Twitter and Instagram channels for additional details.

Apr15
2019
Posted by
Marketing Staff

If you’re the owner-occupant of commercial real estate, have you considered the potential benefits of a sale-leaseback?

A sale-leaseback is when you sell your real estate asset and then lease it back long-term from the buyer. This can be an effective strategy to unlock the value of your real estate, allowing you to draw on the proceeds of the sale.

Let’s look at some of the key ways you can use a sale-leaseback to your business’s advantage:

Produce cash for your operations
Selling your asset in a sale-leaseback transaction allows you to regain access to capital that was previously tied up in your ownership of the building while still operating uninterrupted in the same location.

Then you can use the cash generated from the sale for a variety of purposes: to grow your business, pursue new opportunities, address operational issues, among others.

Gain access to an alternative financing tool
As an alternative financing option, a sale-leaseback offers a nice perk compared to conventional financing – it provides the seller more cash. In a sale-leaseback, you would typically receive 100% of the property’s value compared to 70 percent to 80 percent in conventional mortgage financing.

Another perk is the ability to avoid the burdensome provisions associated with traditional financing, including balloon payments, call provisions and refinancing.

Improve your balance sheet & boost your borrowing capacity
A sale-leaseback removes the asset from your balance sheet, converting a fixed asset into cash proceeds from the sale. In removing this liability from your balance sheet, your loan-to-value ratio is reduced, improving your credit standing and making it easier to borrow additional funds in the future.

Transfer ownership risks to the buyer
Upon completion of the sale-leaseback, the responsibilities of ownership are transferred to the buyer, including the risks of depreciation and obsolescence. Eliminating these and other real estate ownership obligations allows you to direct your attention and financial resources to what matters most – your business operations.

As an owner-operator, a sale-leaseback is a viable option for increasing your financial flexibility and liquidity. Since sale-leasebacks are complicated transactions, it’s crucial to rely on an experienced commercial real estate professional to guide you through the process.

Interested in learning more about sale-leasebacks? Contact us at 770-913-3900.

Mar15
2019
Posted by
Marketing Staff

In a concerted effort to foster diversity within their organizations, many real estate companies are becoming more proactive in recruiting people of color.

To that end, commercial real estate firms are sourcing talent from a broader group of colleges and universities and providing a variety of career development resources.

While the industry is making strides, diversity levels among senior executives could use some improvement. According to NAIOP, white men comprise 78 percent of senior executives and white women make up the next largest segment (14 percent), while black women and black men each comprise 1 percent of the total.

With more than 20 years of experience in commercial real estate, Fara Wilson, vice president of Marketing and Communications at Ackerman & Co., is familiar with both the challenges and rewards of working as a black woman in the industry. She described her experiences in a Bisnow feature, The Black Experience.

“Being black in CRE presents a new opportunity to learn, grow and make money. It also means having access to a client base that typically has not been marketed to by a black broker or not met someone in CRE marketing who looks like him or her,” Fara said.

She added, “On the not-so-positive side, you can run into small-minded people. However, nothing succeeds like success. If you stay focused on the task at hand and do a great job, clients and peers alike will grow to respect you and focus on your ability to deliver.”

In addition to the efforts of individual companies, real estate organizations are working to attract people of color.

The Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors (ACBR), one of the largest realtor associations in America, has a variety of programs aimed at boosting diversity at all levels of commercial real estate.

“Atlanta has been very progressive in civil rights and race relations but our industry has lagged behind,” said Scotland Wright, former Diversity Committee chairman for ACBR, in a promotional video for the association’s diversity programs.

ACBR’s diversity’s initiatives include a mentorship program that helps mentees enhance their skills and expertise; a partnership program that combines the resources of ACBR with organizations such as CoreNet and NAIOP; and an annual event that presents a guest speaker from a diverse background who shares his or her experiences in the industry.

NAIOP, a commercial real estate network with more than 19,000 members, promotes diversity through initiatives such as the Inclusion in CRE Scholarship, which enters up to 10 women and minorities into a curriculum aimed at advancing their commercial real estate careers. The organization also provides examples of best practices companies have adopted to increase diversity.