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Developer: Atlanta apartment bubble talk is pure ‘nonsense’

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Despite torrent of new product, rental vacancies are reportedly lowest in decades

As seen in this colorful rendering, developers The Related Group say ongoing projects like this in Midtown are no cause for alarm.
Developers The Related Group say ongoing projects like this in Midtown are no cause for bubble alarm.
The Related Group

Atlanta development wonks may recall the brief waving of a red flag last May, when developer Pollack Shores pulled the plug on a 12-story apartment and retail project near the Buckhead Village, and cries rang out — as they have since roughly 2014 — that the city’s apartment “bubble” was finally bursting.

The 35-story Apogee Buckhead is anticipated to break ground soon, aiming for completion in late 2018.
The Related Group

Eight months and multiple tower launches later, that project cancellation would appear to be an isolated incident. And one heavyweight developer is calling talk of an overbuilt Atlanta “nonsense,” though of course it’s in their best interest to say so.

The Related Group, a high-rise titan based in Florida, is betting big on Atlanta, moving forward right now on the Whole Foods-anchored Apogee Midtown — which stands about a dozen stories out of the ground — and a slightly smaller tower in Buckhead with a similar concept.

As Bisnow reports, the towers will bring more than 350 fresh apartments to each submarket. Despite the fact that more than 11,000 rentals are being built throughout Atlanta right now, the metro’s job growth — around 70,000 jobs per year gained, second behind Dallas last year, percentage-wise — and other fundamentals have Related Group’s honchos not just confident in their ongoing projects but scouting more sites.

"Apartment vacancies are the lowest they've been in 20 years, and we're worried about the market falling apart on us?” Related Development CEO Steve Patterson told Bisnow. "That's nonsense."

The Related Group expects to snag rents at $2.50-per-square-foot in Midtown, and a dime higher in Buckhead. Unsurprisingly, the company predicts Apogee Buckhead will appeal to more affluent and older residents, who’ll have about 4,000 new choices for brand-new apartments soon, the website reports.

Patterson didn’t name names, but he said the company has identified cities that are overbuilt right now or nearly there. The ATL, he said, isn’t one of them.

The Apogee Midtown project earlier this month.
Curbed Atlanta
Rendering of the Whole Foods-anchored, 39-story tower.
The Related Group