On May 16th, NAIOP Georgia held its May Breakfast at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel. A panel discussion on “Capital Market Strategy in industrial development through the lens of REITs, merchant developers and fee developers” withChris Brown, Senior Vice President, Duke Realty; Frank Fallon, Vice Chairman, CBRE; Mike Gray, President and Chief Operating Officer, Ridgeline Property Group; Hamilton Reynolds, President – Industrial Division, Taylor & Mathis and Moderated by: Charlie Fiveash, Senior Director, Lavista Associates.
On March 8th, NAIOP Georgia held it’s 25th Annual Million Dollar Club Awards. For those of you who could not make the lunch, we wanted to share a few things you missed:
Three industry legends have been in the NAIOP Million Dollar Club for all 25 years. Bruce Logue, Avison Young, Kay Younglove, JLL and Chet Koenig, Avison Young were on hand to accept their special award.
For our Million Dollar Club, here are our top winners. Congratulations to all!
1. Travis Garland, Portman 2. Christopher Ahrenkiel, Selig Enterprises 3. John Bell, Regent Partners, LLC 4. Mike Wells & John Grimsley, Highwoods Properties (tie for #4) 5. Christopher Port & Jeff Keppen (not pictured), CBRE, Inc. (tie for #5)
1. Doug Smith, Seefried Properties, Inc. 2. Wes Hardy, Duke Realty (not pictured) 3. Chet Koenig, Avison Young 4. Joseph Kriss, Seefried Properties, Inc. 5. Ryan Hoyt, Prologis (not pictured)
Click here for a video of the event, and click here to see all of our MDC participants.
NAIOP GA President, Mike Wells, Highwoods Properties, kicked off the meeting by firing up the crowd. After showing the now-famous, Samuel L. Jackson Falcons RISE UP video, Mike bounded on stage in his Falcons jersey. Mike was at the conference championship and said of his experience, “It was the loudest I have ever heard the dome…John Grimsley even said it was louder than the Taylor Swift concert!” Mike went on to say:
One thing that struck me as I enjoyed the crowd both inside and outside the dome – Just how Diverse the crowd was and what great representation of our city it was – All cheering for a common goal!
As we close this chapter on a challenging election season, I hope we can rise up and embrace the unity as we move forward together. And, as we move forward together, we are going to embrace what we do…
Educate – We want to reinforce why Atlanta is one of the best business destinations in the world and how technology is going to continue to improve us.
Support Government Affairs – on both the local & national level – look to solutions to challenges that impact and challenge our industry.
Diversity – Recognize the continued need for increased diversity in our CRE community and continue to strive for solutions.
Mike spoke to the success of the NAIOP Xtreme Room Makeover Challenge in December. He thanked everyone for their participation (over 60 NAIOP members directly participated) in this life changing endeavor. He went on to specifically thank Brian Kennedy and Occupied Renovations, Brad Kinzey and Kinzey Construction, Shaw Carpets, Rupert Landscaping and Travis Vickers and BoggsVickers Architects for their amazing contribution.
Mike then brought up NAIOP Future Leaders director, Stephen Clifton, PMRG, who introduced the 2017 group: Rupam Banerjee, Ryan; Gregory Boler, Ridge Development Company; Laura Friddell, Patterson Real Estate Advisory Group; Maximillian Gutierrez, Urbana Realty Advisors; Reeves Henritze, Colliers International; Tyler Jones, Rockefeller Group; Andrew Myers, Brasfield & Gorrie; Kaity Noone, The Brookdale Group; Keenan O’Brien, Eastdil Secured; Joshua Stephens, Georgia Dept. of Econ. Dev.; Heidi Swygert, KDC Real Estate Development & Investments; Will Weston, CBRE; Ryan Woods, Beck Group.
Next, NAIOP VP Governmental Affairs, Charlie Fiveash, Lavista Associates, introduced our keynote speaker Thomas J. Cunningham, Ph.D., Chief Economist, Metro Atlanta Chamber. Some key points that Tom made were:
The 29 county Atlanta MSA is similar to Ireland in terms of economic size.
Low interest rates have helped improve “Debt to Income” ratios, so Atlanta is in a better economic position today than the pre-recession era.
70% of US GDP is tied to personal consumption/consumer spending.
Georgia’s GDP is 2% of the US GDP and Atlanta’s job creation is on track to create the same number of jobs in 2017 as last year.
Infrastructure improvements, a bi-partisan effort in Washington, will help improve the US economy in 2018 – with less impact in 2017.
NAIOP GA President, Dwight Bell, Cannon Equities; John Rooker, Rooker; Jim Irwin, New City; Mark Toro, North American Properties; NAIOP GA VP Programs, Caroline Nolen, Cushman & Wakefield; Kris Miller, Ackerman & Co.
“Leveraging Location and Creativity for Successful Development”
Kris Miller, Ackerman & Co., moderated and started the conversation talking about innovation. Most in our industry don’t have the luxury of being creative and innovative, but when we can – the payoff is huge. Here’s what our panelists had to say:
Mark Toro, North American Properties:
Even more important than the “hardware” in his developments is the “software”.
At Atlantic Station, he spent time reprogramming and working on the software aspect to bring in energy and activity to the development.
Avalon was his ground-up development opportunity, and he again focused on social media, programs and ultimately being an energy mecca.
Colony Square: He now wants to make it Midtown’s living room, by making it a public space. If the backyard is Piedmont Park, Colony Square can be the living room. With so much energy in Midtown, he needed to pull it into the development.
Jim Irwin, New City:
Jim brought up that the city is experiencing “self-selected densification” – as is the case with Avalon, Colony Square and his development.
Working on Ponce City Market, he became very familiar with all aspects of Old Fourth Ward.
Kroger noticed all of the activity happening around it, but it was being left behind.
Jim agreed that it wasn’t just about the physical structure, it’s about experience.
He thinks people want to see an alignment between where they live, work, shop, play, etc.
He mentioned 725 Ponce saw the Atlanta BeltLine as its front door, which was interesting; considering Toro called Piedmont Park Colony Square’s backyard.
They’re right below $400/sf development.
Of course, they all agreed the BeltLine was transforming the city.
Even though experience is king, the metrics of the developments still matter a great deal.
John Rooker, Rooker:
Regional Malls were just no longer a destination.
Shannon Mall had been shut down for about 3 years already, though declining for longer, when Rooker came on board.
He thought it was a perfect location for industrial.
The mall was previously an economic driver for Union City, so he wanted to uphold that moving forward.
A few film industry guys took him to lunch one day, which launched three buildings being developed specifically for the film industry; one being the largest purpose-built sound stage in North America.
Understanding the film business was most time consuming during the project, but he had to in order to create this experience.
He essentially created a new community in an existing community, and he’s now seeing restaurants and other industries coming back to life in the area.
He had to be ultimately flexible as far as creating these buildings for the film industry, and he tried to always answer yes.
While you must have your metrics and building “bones” together, focusing on the software, programming and experience factor of your development will allow you to creatively create a destination and better “place,” to which tenants and visitors will flock.
This year’s School Challenge was certainly memorable, as we had three schools competing for the coveted shovel: Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia.
The case statement for this year’s Challenge focused on Building an Industrial Property Portfolio. What are prevailing market conditions in Atlanta’s industrial sector? What are the most important market drivers? What is the optimal investment strategy to deploy $50 million in industrial properties in metro Atlanta?. Our teams had to identify opportunities and formulate a detailed development plan via a written report and verbal presentation.
Our judges – Steve Martin, Managing Principal, SDM Partners; Kent Mason, VP-Market Officer, Prologis; Chris Riley, Vice Chairman, CBRE and John Rooker, CEO, Rooker – had their work cut out for them.
In the end, it was theUniversity of Georgia who took home the top prize with their amazing written report and presentation.
Congratulations to all the contestants and door prize winners, and a big thank you to NAIOP VP of Education, Annie Baxter, Duke Energy, her School Challenge committee and the judges.