By 11Alive Staff, WXIA
ATLANTA — The face of Atlanta is changing. New housing units are going up all across the metro area.
Cranes are moving again, towers are being built and new neighborhoods are being developed. One of the most vibrant areas of growth is the apartment business.
Steven Shores and his team at the Pollack Shores Real Estate Group have torn down old apartments off Peachtree in Buckhead to make way for two high-end modern complexes, The Jane and The Monroe.
“It’s great to see something grown from a piece of land with a bunch of old buildings on it to a vibrant environment that you helped create and conceive of,” Shores said.
Atlanta real estate consulting firm Haddow & Company says in the first quarter of this year, more than 11,000 units were under construction in-town, with another 9,100 proposed.
Tom Aderhold of the Atlanta Apartment Association says the robust building makes up for lost time.
“The downturn was rapid and brutal,” Aderhold said. “When it came back, it came back at almost the same speed.”
And he says they are one driving force: “The apartment business is completely based on the number of jobs generated.”
Although in this vibrant new cycle, post-Great Recession, developers have changed the way they’re doing business.
“They were much more conservatively financed,” Shores said of his new projects. “Much less use of bank debt to finance our projects, a lot of equity and real dollars.”
Preferences and lifestyles of tenants have also changed, so Shores is building more one bedroom units.
“The demand for our renter is not to entertain in their own apartment and have big dinner parties,” he said. “They take advantage of the great amenity spaces we’ve created.”
And the old adage: location, location, location, is more important than ever, with increasing demand for in-town living.
“We’re building over 3,000 apartments right now,” Shores said. “Fifteen years ago, more than half of them would have been suburban, garden apartments. Now 75 percent are in-town and infill areas, such as the Jane and Monroe.”
And it will cost you to live in-town. As you would suspect, with the rental market back up, so are prices. Right now, the average monthly rent in Buckhead/Brookhaven is nearly $1800, while downtown it’s a little more than $1300.
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