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Atlanta’s emergence as a serious food town and what that means for real estate


buckhead-atlanta-shake-shack-750xx3262-4349-0-0The talk of the town when it comes to real estate usually is with condos or offices. The office sector also usually gets headlines, with corporate headquarters relocation’s and new speculative towers like Three Alliance in Buckhead.

However, as mega developments like Buckhead Atlanta, Avalon and Ponce City Market are showing us, food is just as critical as any other component.
Developers are focused on bringing more than the usual food choices to a development. Avalon’s offerings show a creative and diverse mix of local favorites like Bocado Burger and Antico Pizza with a national brand that had no previous location in Atlanta like Kona Grill.
Buckhead Atlanta has also been able to attract a mix of home grown restaurateurs such as our friends from Southern Proper Hospitality Group and restaurant groups that have come from wider geographies such as New York (LDV Hospitality Group) and Texas (Consilient Hospitality). OliverMcMillian has done a tremendous job of mixing different concepts along with high end retail shops to attract the dining and shopping appetites of both local residents as well as tourists.
Ponce City Market is an interesting microcosm of what all of Atlanta is experiencing. Through its “Food Hall,” Jamestown is ensuring an impressive array of regional, global and hand-crafted choices is offered in chef-led dine-in or grab-and-go market stalls.

Shifting to the suburbs, Roswell’s unique town center is not going to be the only city to capitalize on Main Street, so to speak. Carving out their own unique synergy centers for food and night life, places like Johns Creek and Suwanee are developing their own town center with food and drink and retail being the draw.

More than 90 new openings are occurring in the next 12 to 18 months in the city of Atlanta and surrounding areas. These new restaurants are comprised of local favorites, restaurant groups already operating in Atlanta to groups that have newly migrated to our city. The socio-economic demographics, combined with the development of the Atlanta market, create a perfect storm for developers to fully examine their food and restaurant offerings.
Developers have raised their food offerings, knowing that the people they are attracting to their shops are forever linked to favorite restaurants and preferred selections. And, with shops and dining come increased attention to ambiance and the overall customer dining experience: certainly a positive for developers trying to help create sustainable tenants.
It will be interesting to see how this trend continues to impact development in Atlanta. Still developing areas along the Beltline will most certainly create other development ideas with unique food choices. West Midtown continues to thrive, in part, due to the focus on restaurant choices.
This can only mean positive things for Atlanta development and the economy as a whole.

By:  Stephanie O’Rourk

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