Category: Landlord Representation

Strategic Location Helping Rockdale/Newton County Submarket Draw Big-Box Tenants

Jul22
2020
Posted by
Marketing Staff

 

Facebook, Lidl and other leading companies commit to opening large distribution hubs in the submarket

When Ackerman & Co. moved forward with plans for Rockdale Technology Center, a 1-million-square-foot master-planned industrial park in Conyers, Ga., the site’s strategic location in the Rockdale/Newton County submarket of Atlanta was a big selling point.

Most importantly, the property offers convenient access to I-20, a major east-west highway that connects to Atlanta’s dense population centers to the west and to the ports of Savannah and Charleston to the east.

To date, Ackerman & Co. has developed two Class A distribution facilities on the 92-acre site of 135,000 square feet and 185,000 square feet. Later this quarter, Ackerman will begin development on its largest project so far on the site – a 325,000-square-foot facility that will serve a prominent manufacturing company.

“As land availability becomes more limited in industrial submarkets close-in to Atlanta, Rockdale County will continue attracting the interest of companies seeking modern, efficient distribution space,” said Brett Buckner, Senior Vice President of Ackerman & Co.’s Industrial Services group. “At Rockdale Technology Center, the ability for distributors to gain quick access to I-20 as well as connect to a CSX rail line are strategic advantages.”

Some big-name consumer companies are choosing to locate major distribution operations in the submarket for the same reasons.

Construction is expected to be completed this summer in Social Circle on a 970,000-square-foot flex data center for social media giant Facebook that will create an estimated 100 jobs, and Germany-based grocer Lidl recently announced plans for a 925,000-square-foot distribution center in Covington that will create 270 jobs and serve as its regional headquarters.

These major projects indicate that Rockdale/Newton County is becoming an increasingly prominent distribution hub for metro Atlanta. There is currently 1.7 million square feet under construction in the submarket, significantly higher than typical construction levels in a submarket that boasts one of the lowest vacancy rates in metro Atlanta at 3.7 percent. That compares to a market-wide vacancy rate of 7.2 percent as of 2Q 2020.

The Rockdale/Newton County submarket is part of Atlanta’s Snapfinger/I-20 East market, which totals 49,637,758-square-feet of industrial space. As of 2Q 2020, the market had the lowest vacancy rate in metro Atlanta at 3.2% and total year-to-date absorption of 473,594 square feet– one of the highest absorption rates in the market.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic initially resulted in a slowdown in leasing activity in the Atlanta industrial market at the start of the second quarter, leasing volumes have surged in recent weeks, and CoStar predicts vacancies are likely to remain below Atlanta’s historic average.

 

New Renderings Showcase the Next Phase of Development at Lee + White

May22
2020
Posted by
Marketing Staff

The transformation of Lee + White is entering an exciting new phase.

Renderings have just been unveiled showing what’s next for the adaptive reuse development just southwest of downtown Atlanta in the West End neighborhood. The next phase of development will add striking design features to existing buildings and produce a new two-story glace-façade building that will become a new centerpiece for the West End.

The renderings are a vivid representation of the diversification of the project Ackerman & Co. and MDH Partners envisioned when purchasing the popular entertainment and food & beverage destination last fall. The upcoming redevelopment will add creative loft offices, a food hall, public spaces, additional retail options and multifamily units, all featuring direct and enhanced Atlanta BeltLine access.

“This new phase of development will add a dynamic mix of uses that will heighten much needed daytime activity and strengthen the already popular night and weekend visits, while greatly improving the walkability and overall visitor experience through the 23-acre site,” said Leo Wiener, President of Ackerman Retail.

Amid the current coronavirus pandemic, businesses at Lee + White are re-opening with the health and safety of their customers and community in mind.

“We are in the unique position of being able to adapt the design of Lee + White’s further redevelopment to newly evolving social distancing and operational guidelines. We plan to take advantage of the existing warehouse volumes, high ceilings and wide-open floor spaces along with direct connectivity to many outdoor spaces, including patios, greenspaces and the Atlanta BeltLine,” said Jeff Small, CEO of MDH Partners.

Atlanta-based Smith Dalia Architects is the creator of the new master plans. Further capitalizing on the project’s half mile of frontage along the Westside BeltLine, the master plans propose new and enhanced access to the BeltLine, a variety of public spaces overlooking the trail and a path connecting the project’s numerous outdoor spaces.

Here’s what’s on tap for the next phase of development:

  • The new centerpiece of the development – Building 1015, a two-story glass-façade structure opening directly to the Atlanta BeltLine with terraces overlooking the busy pedestrian trail. The building will house a 17,000-square-foot food and retail collective on the first floor and 18,000 square feet of loft offices on the second floor. The second-story loft offices will be notable for the distinctive entry, marquis signage, 12-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glass curtain wall.
  • Building 1050, an adaptive re-development of industrial warehouse space into 42,121 square feet of creative loft offices with 18-foot ceilings, abundant natural light and a large terrace overlooking the BeltLine.
  • Building 929, an adaptive re-development of industrial warehouse space into 85,000 square feet of creative loft offices offering frontage on Lee Street, dramatic entry features and common areas, and views overlooking the BeltLine along with new access to the trail. Unique design elements will include exposed-beam roofing, floor-to-ceiling windows and skylight-lit double-height interiors.
  • Approximately 30,000 square feet of ground-level retail space distributed throughout the property.
  • Up to 250 multifamily units with walk-out access to Lawton Street and the BeltLine.
  • A terraced outdoor multi-use area – similar to a mini-amphitheater – stepping down directly to the BeltLine.
  • A vertical Lee + White sign at the property’s front corner providing distinctive branding that honors the property’s history.

Construction is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2020, with delivery of the first phase of office space in mid-2021. The opening of the new ground-up food and retail collective building is targeted for late 2021.

Ackerman & Co. and MDH Partners acquired the 11-building, 433,204-square-foot Lee + White property in September 2019 from Stream Realty Partners. The initial phase of the redevelopment of the mid-20th century industrial buildings included the addition of tenants such as Monday Night Brewing, Wild Heaven Beer, Best End Brewing, ASW Distillery and Hop City Craft Beer & Wine, each of which has developed a unique following and enjoyed tremendous success.

Apr28
2020
Posted by
Marketing Staff

During Atlanta’s post-recession economic boom, its industrial market posted some of the strongest numbers in the nation, registering positive absorption for nearly nine years in a row.

Along with a thriving economy, Atlanta’s low business costs, extensive transportation infrastructure, and one-day access to the fast-growing Southeast ports seemed to have the industrial sector positioned to continue the positive momentum.

Of course, the ongoing coronavirus emergency has changed the landscape for the industrial sector, along with every other property type. But there are signs that the impact on the industrial real estate may be less severe.

A strong foundation
As one of the nation’s most important distribution hubs, Atlanta has continued to attract major e-commerce operations along with a full range of consumer goods companies and logistics providers.

The Atlanta market’s major lease deals in the past six months include Amazon’s 2.8 million-square-foot distribution center in Stone Mountain and its 1 million-square-foot lease in Newnan, Ga.

Other big deals and projects include Goodyear Tires’ 1.5-million-square-foot build-to-suit project in Newnan, Ga. Online personal styling service Stitch Fix leased 925,800 square feet in the I-20 West/Douglasville submarket, while XPO Logistics leased 673,818 square feet in the Airport/South Atlanta submarket and SBS Transportation leased 517,500 square feet in Palmetto, Ga.

The surging demand for industrial space in Atlanta led investors to ramp up new construction, which currently totals approximately 19 million square feet, according to CoStar. Vacancy levels as of mid-April remained low at 6.4% and the overall rental rate was $6.16, a 6.4% increase from the previous year.

What’s next?
Those numbers don’t yet reflect the changes taking place throughout the economy. The big question now is: How much will industrial demand be impacted by the COVID-19 crisis?

“You’ve got your recession-proof types of businesses – companies needing refrigeration for food products and manufacturers of essential goods. And, of course, there continues to be strong demand from e-commerce companies like Amazon,” said Chris Miller, Senior Vice President in Ackerman & Co.’s Industrial Services group.

In addition to Amazon, other e-commerce retailers are experiencing skyrocketing sales due to the millions of Americans who have turned to online shopping to purchase everything from health products and clothing to toilet paper and canned foods. There could also be a long-range movement toward the on-shoring of manufacturing due to disruptions in the supply chain for products such as pharmaceuticals.

However, there are definitely issues of concern. Cargo volumes at the Port of Savannah, now the nation’s third-busiest container port, declined by nearly 20 percent in March following a lengthy period of record increases. In addition, the retail shutdown that has spurred widespread layoffs will also impact demand levels, although the extent is not yet known.

Even so, CoStar expects fundamentals to stay afloat. Based on Oxford Economics forecasts, CoStar currently anticipates that – even in a severe downside scenario – Atlanta industrial vacancies will likely remain below the market’s long-term historical average.

“Deal volume through the first quarter was roughly equal to the metro’s quarterly average. We expect deal volume to slow, but CoStar clients remain active in sourcing and performing due diligence on deals during the crisis,” said David Kahn, Managing Analyst at CoStar, in a recent video report. “If the situation improves in the coming months, it wouldn’t be surprising to see an uptick in transaction activity in the second half of 2020.”

Chris Miller echoed that cautiously optimistic outlook.

“The industrial sector is historically the last to see a downturn and the first to recover,” he said. “When we get the all-clear, there will be a lot of activity because people are buckled in and ready to see this situation improve so they can get deals done. I think there is optimism that we’ll come out of this strong.”

Mar20
2020
Posted by
Marketing Staff

As Ackerman & Co. steadily strengthens its services platform and adds talent to its brokerage group, the firm continues to solidify its position as a leading commercial real estate firm in the Southeast.

One way to measure a firm’s success is by the number of its brokers who are named to the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors (ACBR) Million Dollar Club. A total of 11 Ackerman brokers were named to the Million Dollar Club at the recent 2020 ACBR awards.

“This is the most brokers we’ve ever had named to the Million Dollar Club,” said Kris Miller. “Our brokerage team is producing great results for our clients and we’ll continue building our team and the quality of our services to keep those results coming.”

The Ackerman brokers added to the 2020 Million Dollar Club include Courtney Brumbelow, Brett Buckner, Bryan Davis, Brian Lefkoff, Chris Miller, Kris Redding, Sean Patrick, John Speros, Jimmy Stevens, Kelly Wilson and Larry Wood.

Three of Ackerman’s 2020 Million Dollar Club members took home Top 10 Broker honors – Brian Lefkoff (the No. 5 Retail Broker), Courtney Brumbelow (the No. 8 Retail Broker) and John Speros (the No. 5 Land Broker).

As leader of Ackerman Retail’s Tenant Representation Group, Brian’s major deals included a 30,000-square-foot lease on behalf of Painted Tree Marketplace in Buford, Ga., which marked the retailer’s first store in Georgia, while Courtney completed nearly 100 real estate transactions as the head of the Landlord Representation Group.

A long-time high producer for Ackerman as Senior Vice President of the Land Group, John’s biggest transaction was the $18 million, 65-acre land sale for the Exchange at Gwinnett mixed-use project, which he brokered with Senior Vice President Larry Wood. The project, also named one of the three finalists for ACBR’s 2020 Alvin B. Cates Award, will feature Top Golf, Andretti Indoor Karting & Games, Rooms To Go and more.

The Million Dollar Club recognizes brokers with production of $5 million or more in annual commercial transactions.

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/

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.

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.

Jan9
2019
Posted by
Kim Dwoskin, Director of Property Management

 

How can we help?

Ackerman & Co. wants to know what you need with regard to managing your properties. The answer helps us build our plan of attack—choosing from our arsenal of experts and services to find the best solution for your real estate investment. Property management can make or break a real estate venture. Good management can increase value and reduce property costs. Bad management can mean money lost and headaches acquired.

Ackerman & Co. is a property partner you can trust to help you—and your investment—find success.

Getting to Know Amanda Wyatt, Property Manager

Dec27
2018
Posted by
Marketing Staff

The Property Management division is a key part of Ackerman & Co.’s full-service platform. The team’s seasoned professionals manage a portfolio of properties totaling nearly 8 million square feet, providing tenant relations, asset management, accounting and engineering services.

Property Manager Amanda Wyatt is a 15-year veteran in Ackerman’s Property Management division. We recently caught up with Amanda to get a close-in look at her role in the department. In addition to providing perspective on her approach to her work, she discussed what she enjoys doing in her free time – and even her top “bucket list” item!

Q: Can you tell us a little about what you do in the Property Management group?

A: I manage multiple properties in the metro Atlanta area. My team and I support the owners, assist the tenants at each of the properties, provide financial reporting and oversee daily operations.

Q: For people who aren’t familiar with property management, can you provide a rundown of the core services the Ackerman & Co. property management group provides?

Q: What advice do you have for someone trying to break into your field?

A: The advice I would give is to be patient, breathe and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Q: What are some of the most gratifying aspects of your work?

A: The camaraderie of my team! It makes it easy to come to work every day knowing that I have a great team of professionals around me.

Q: How would you describe yourself?

A: I am seriously funny, always have a smile on my face. I love to laugh and love a good joke. Life is too short, so my outlook is to make the best of it and have a good time.

Q: What are some of your favorite things to do in your free time?

A: I enjoy shooting at the range and roller derby.

Q: What’s one of the top items on your “bucket list”?

A: Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef with great white sharks.

Q: If you could have dinner with anyone famous, past or present, who would it be and why?

A: Amelia Earhart is very inspiring. A favorite quote from her is: “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”

Or I would also like to have dinner with 50 Cent so we could freestyle with each other.

Q: Who has been the most important person in your life?

A: My mother. She is a source of inspiration, a breast cancer survivor and my best friend.

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.