This Week on The Street April 23, 2012
(A more or less regular compilation of news, factoids and observations.)
By Harold V. Shumacher
Is the recession over? Based on the growing number of “now hiring” signs spotted around metro Atlanta the inclination is to say yes. Following a period of three or so years where there were few publicly advertised jobs available, it’s becoming increasingly commonplace to see restaurants and retailers reaching out for staff. New home construction, while a trickle of what it was in the mid 2000’s is showing an increase as are the number of apartments under construction or contemplated.
On the retail front several major projects continue to inch slowly forward, most notably Buckhead Atlanta now slated for full bore construction in the second quarter. Nearby Lenox and Phipps Plaza (both owned by The Simon company) are actively pursuing plans to re-do their respective front doors. Next door neighbor Around Lenox has already spruced up its look and is now anchored by a recently re-located Crate and Barrel.
Atlantic Station continues to add to its line-up of new tenants, most recently California-based Yard House which just opened and plans continue for North American Properties newest project Avalon in Alpharetta (the former Prospect Park project.) Wal-Mart has nearly a dozen of their neighborhood grocery concepts in actual or the pre-development stage and other retailers continue their growth. It will be interesting to see the mood at this year’s International Council of Shopping Center’s annual trade show (RECON) to be held in Las Vegas May 19-23.
The recent spate of activity may look good locally but on the international front Atlanta has a long ways to go. According to Shopping Centers Today, five cities are currently attracting 25 percent of the world’s real estate investment; London, Tokyo, New York, Hong Kong and Paris.. Close behind Bejiing, Shanghai, Moscow and San Paulo. By 2040 this list will even tilt even heavier toward the BRIC cities (Brazil, Russia, China and India) as those countries are expected to dominate the next two decades in terms of real and percentage growth.
Closer to home several new restaurants have made recent appearances. STG, from the owners of Bocado is off to a strong start in Buckhead with its pizza and pasta line up as is nearby Fuoco di Napoli, a spin on Antico Pizza. The Antico Pizza tree continues to blossom with the announced opening of Ammazza on Edgewood Avenue with a similar brick oven and open seating approach from brother Hugh and James Connerty. Other openings in the works include a new Zoe’s, East Cobb: Czar Ice Bar and Village Tap (in the former Shane’s Rib Shack), F&B Buckhead; Ichiban Steak House, at long time Cheshire Bridge mainstay Franco’s Pizza; Proof and Provisions Bar, at the Georgian Terrace and Bantum and Biddy (from chef Shaun Doty) both Midtown.
Spotted….Eat Beef, the west wasn’t won by salad eaters.
Factoid…The Kiplinger Newsletter reports that 9.6 million trees are sacrificed annually for the paper needed to run the world’s business. The prediction more and more electronic communication.
What’s America’s favorite brand of chocolate? According to 24/7 Wall Street and Symphony IRI Group, more of us are inclined to select a Snicker’s bar when a craving occurs. Close behind M&M’s, Reese’s, Hershey’s and Kit Kat. Of the top 10 brands all are manufactured by either Mars, Inc. or The Hershey Company.
And finally, staying on the sweet front. Midtown’s Sublime Doughnuts was named Bake Magazine’s pick for America’s best bakery 2012. A great stop if you’ve never been.
Recent Transactions for the Shumacher Group include
Lease of former Craft Restaurant Space (Peachtree Road) to Del Frisco Grille
Lease of Castaways at Lake Lanier
Lease of Former Mrs. Winner’s Barrett Lakes Parkway to Taco Bell
Sale of former Decatur Diner
Sale of Two Dads Pizza (Canton) to Romeo’s N.Y. Pizza.
Sale of Pizza Vito (Alpharetta) to Romeo’s N.Y. Pizza