This Week on The Street: April 18, 2013

by Harold Shumacher

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Atlanta Restaurant Real Estate
This Week on The Street  (A more or less regular compilation of news, factoids and observations.)
April 18, 2013
by Harold V. Shumacher

The Nashville Syndrome

Twelve to eighteen months ago we began hearing anecdotal evidence of how challenging it was to find sites in some of the outlying Southeastern Markets. Cities like Nashville, Raleigh, Charlotte and Birmingham had a severe lack of opportunities in prime locations. Rents were soaring, sometimes equal to or in excess of what we were seeing in selected Atlanta markets.

At that time (mid 2011) there were still viable opportunities but the pace and interest from qualified prospects was clearly on the increase. It seems as if Atlanta is now experiencing the same phenomenon-too many qualified prospects looking for the same prime corner or end caps. Like any situation with increased demand and limited supply the prices tend to increase, a factor we’re noting in markets like Midtown, Virginia-Highland, Buckhead, Decatur the Perimeter and, to a lesser extent, in North Fulton, East Cobb and West Midtown.

With several new developments in the pipeline, many anchored by upscale grocers like Earth Fare and Sprouts, it will be interesting to track what impact this will have on current market needs. With all the emphasis of the past few years on securing “in-town” locations we’re also waiting to see if there will be a move back toward the suburbs.

Food Trucks Evolving.

You know those food trucks that peddle meals in busy office neighborhoods? According to ICSC, you’ll soon see fashion trucks on some of the same streets. Mobile boutiques are popping up in urban areas from Sacramento, Calif., to Houston to Wichita, Kan., with specialties that range from baby clothes to fashion jewelry to designer dresses. As with food trucks, start-up costs are much lower than for a bricks-and-mortar site, and trucks offer owners the flexibility to go where their customers are. They can sell at fairs, fund-raisers, bridal parties and other special events, in addition to catering to busy downtown fashionistas who’d rather shop than eat during their lunch breaks. Some come complete with fitting rooms, heat and air-conditioning…even catwalks.

Speaking of ICSC, all indications are that the retail real estate industry’s annual Las Vegas soiree should enjoy a ten to fifteen percent increase in attendance. At least that’s the prediction from industry observers who note similar attendance spikes at such regional events as the Atlanta Meet the Retailer and Carolina Exchange, both held in March. Having attended both we can report the deal pipeline is filling in, brokers and agents all are “busier” (and some are even making money -Finally.) Look for a full report in our next Newsletter in early June.

Recent Transactions for the Shumacher Group, Inc. include:

  • Sale of Former Ruby Tuesday, Griffin, Ga. to La Parilla
  • Burger Fi Lease-Twelfth and Midtown
  • Premier Pawn Lease-Lawrenceville, Ga.
  • Sale of two Five Guys-Lawrenceville and Loganville, Ga
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