Now that Atlanta Office Market "Has Hit Bottom," Where Will It Head?

By Tony Wilbert, Wilbert News Strategies 

ATLANTA (Aug.9, 2010) – It’s official: Atlanta’s office market has “hit bottom,”according to an article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In the article, the AJC cited reports from CoStar, Grubb & Ellis and Jones Lang LaSalle saying Atlanta’s office vacancy rate peaked (at 17 percent to 22 percent, depending on the source). 

So what’s next? Will the market begin an upward climb or bounce along the bottom fora while? We have seen some good signs such as the large leases signed recently in Buckhead. In Midtown, Carter represented landlord Manulife in Kilpatrick Stockton’s renewal of more than 200,000 square feet at 1100 Peachtree.

Terminus 200

News of several of the six-figure office leases including Greenberg Traurig at Terminus 200 (left) and GE Energy at Parkwood Point in Cobb County has buoyed the spirits of owners and brokers, especially landlord and tenant reps involved in the deals. However, last week’s unemployment report shows the job growth needed to create true net absorption probably won’t materialize this year.

We should get some insight this week when local business columnist Maria Saporta interviews Cousins Properties CEO Larry Gellerstedt at the Databank Symposium on Thursday. In June, Gellerstedt said Atlanta’s recovery remains “fragile and muted.” It’ll be interesting to hear what he thinks two months later. (2010 generally has been a pretty good year for REITs.)

 It also will be interesting to hear from Georgia State University economist Rajeev Dhawan has to say at the Databank Symposium. In early 2009, Dhawan procrastinated that the national recession would not end until this year.The Databank crowd, of course, will want Dhawan to tell them when the commercial real estate market will turn.

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