By Wes Vaughan
Cool, loft-style office space in Atlanta is in high demand these days, particularly for the “creative-type” firms like technology companies. As the demand has risen over the past five years, this type of space has become hard to find for some tenants.
The West Midtown area of Atlanta has flourished in this niche market for a number of years now, with properties such as White Provisions, King Plow Arts Center, Brickworks and Lumberyards attracting many a hip tenant. The West Midtown vacancies are few and far between these days and tenants have been forced to look elsewhere in Atlanta, particularly on the East side of the city – Southern Dairies, Float Away, Stove Works, Studioplex, none of which are particularly hurting for occupancy either. Jamestown has been so successful with their White Provisions development that they bought the old City Hall East property, all 2 million square feet of it, which they are currently renovating and plan to deliver as Ponce City Market in early 2014.
Parkside Partners, a local Atlanta commercial real estate development firm led by Kyle Jenks and Gary Matthews, has focused on creating this type of environment in their properties around the city as well – Inman Alley (home of Rathbun Steak…yum), 5256 Peachtree in Chamblee, Glassworks, to name a few. Parkside’s latest venture is 225 Ottley Drive, about a nine iron from the newly renovated Sweetwater Brewery in what used to be known as the Armour Industrial area. On a side note, if you have never been to a happy hour or tour of Sweetwater, you need to check it off the bucket list; it’s quite the scenic experience…sometimes just to get in the door. Back to business, Parkside just purchased a 53K square foot warehouse facility, which they plan to redevelop into 42K square feet of loft office. They also have an adjacent pad site that can accommodate a 16K SF user right next to it. Parkside is banking on this area, newly dubbed the Sweetwater Design District, to be a success and why shouldn’t they? The property is right on the Beltline Overlay District, neighboring businesses include Mason Murer Fine Art, Pineapple House, Planters, Bottega Stone and, of course, the makers of those delicious craft beers at Sweetwater. When 500 thirsty people line up on Ottley Drive every Wednesday through Friday for tours and happy hour, you know something sweet is in the air…pardon the pun.