This Week on The Street “October 23, 2010”

by Harold Shumacher

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This Week on The Street

(A more or less regular compilation of news, factoids and observations.)

Most of us have heard the word NIMBY (not in my back yard) by now. It’s a quite common phrase when describing neighborhood activists in metro Atlanta. Now, there’s a new acronym that may be an even more telling description BANANA-build absolutely nothing anywhere near anybody. A much louder and more declarative anti-growth sentiment.

Even with an economic slowdown clearly evident, many Atlanta area municipalities continue to make development far more onerous and time consuming a process than it needs to be. You’d think in challenging times like these cities and counties would welcome new business. Doesn’t seem to be the case.

The retail sector continues to be the poster child for  troubling debt placement and financing. According to ICSC’s Michael Niemira,  between 2011 and 2012 about one quarter of the maturing CMBS debt will be in the retail arena. Between now and 2017 almost $300 billion comes due. Bottom line, we’re not yet out of the woods but maybe we can see  the edge a little clearer.

The Atlanta ICSC Next Gen group sponsored an interesting seminar last week on the topic of Social Networking and the impact on the real estate business. Suffice it to say that there’s much for most of us to  learn and that we’re only at the beginning of what will be a fundamental change in how consumers shop, how properties are marketed and how professionals work together. A couple of gleanings.  In many ways a facebook-or other social media –endorsement  is nothing more than a modern day version of word of mouth advertising.  You’re more likely to believe someone you know and trust than a stranger.  Market types label this as ROI-return on  influence when describing their social media efforts.

Today your friends are scattered throughout the world rather than next door. Between 2000 and 2010 the number of internet users has increased 6 fold. Facebook alone has 500 million participants. A little shy of 10% of the world’s total population.

Roswell’s Canton Street (the stretch from the square toward Woodstock road) seems to have become the northern suburbs’  favorite street scene with numerous small bars, restaurants and galleries opening over the past few years. On select summer evenings the streets are closed down creating an even more  active social scene. Among the winners Salt, Rice and Inc. Street. Food.

Other areas of town are also experiencing activity. Look for The Family Dog and a second location for Yeah Burger  in Virginia Highland by year’s end along with Three Chefs in Midtown, Harper Station Memorial Drive, a recently opened Flip in Buckhead a 3rd location for Galla’s Pizza in Dunwoody, a Pure Taqueria outpost in Chamblee and a rumored Arena Tavern in Sandy Springs.

Something to chew on.  In a typical month 93% of Americans eat pizza.

Be sure to check out our website for several new lease, real estate and business acquisition opportunities.

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