In Buckhead, Novare Group's philosophy boils down to that timeworn adage, "If you build it, the Millennials will come." At least that's the impression left after reading this interview Novare's Jim Borders gave Bisnow. As the company moves forward with plans for its third "SkyHouse" concept, Borders seems confident that "normal job growth" will be adequate to fill the 26-story "SkyHouse Buckhead" with 25-to-34-year-olds eager to fork over $2 per square foot for high-rise rentals. To Novare, the key to keeping rents reasonable at that rate is to offer smaller units. As Bisnow notes, the philosophy seems to be working thus far. But can the success last?
Novare, Batson-Cook Development Company and Ackerman & Co. are planning "SkyHouse Buckhead" on a site off Peachtree Road behind Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant. The tower would join SkyHouse Midtown on West Peachtree Street and the under-construction SkyHouse South (the tower formerly known as 100 6th Street) in Novare's rental repertoire.
Offering Class-A apartments, SkyHouse Midtown is fully leased, and SkyHouse South has begun leasing, Bisnow reports. Novare has moved its target from Atlanta condos to apartments because the latter weather downturns better, in Borders' estimation. Talk of another bust has emerged, though, given that some 3,000 apartments are planned or under construction across Buckhead and Brookhaven alone.
But in a recent interview with the AJC, former Atlanta mayor and current Buckhead Coalition president Sam Massell pegged that number much higher: "Right now, we have more than 6,000 apartments that have been announced for Buckhead since Jan. 2012. That's a 50 percent increase," Massell told the AJC. "Apartments provide you with a labor market for the 28 million square feet of office space we've got. They provide you with patronage for the 1,400 retailers we've got."
· Can Midtown Handle Another Tower? [Bisnow]
· Novare's Latest Midtown Tower Nears Topping Out [Curbed Atlanta]
· With Tower, Novare To Join Buckhead Apartment Pipeline [Curbed Atlanta]
[Proposed Novare tower rendering via bizjournals.com]