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Report: Atlanta Beltline’s impact on retail, office rents has been staggering

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Office space near popular trails is 70 percent more expensive than five years ago, CBRE analysis finds

A photo of tree planters with attached benches and other public areas that will provide a respite for Beltline patrons at 725 Ponce, the trail’s largest new office build to date.
Tree planters with attached benches and other public areas will provide a respite for Beltline patrons at 725 Ponce, the trail’s largest new office build to date.
Curbed Atlanta

The Atlanta Beltline’s impact on housing prices has been a critically hot topic for years, spurring the resignation of Beltline Partnership leaders, downtown protests, and the Beltline’s former chief’s claim that a goal of creating 5,600 affordable housing units near the trail isn’t nearly ambitious enough.

But what about other types of rents?

In a word, the Beltline’s effect on office and retail leasing along its built stretches has been drastic, according to an analysis released today by CBRE, a leading global commercial real estate services and investment firm.

To gauge “The Beltline Effect,” the company analyzed average asking rents for commercial and retail spaces over the past five years, dating back to 2013. The Beltline’s popular Eastside Trail officially opened for public use in October 2012.

The most pronounced change has come with office space along the Beltline, where rents have jumped by a staggering 70 percent in five years.

That’s more than twice the growth in Atlanta’s Central Business District overall in the same time period, per the analysis.

Rents for Beltline retail space, meanwhile, have climbed by nearly 60 percent, far outpacing the CBD’s growth of less than 25 percent.

The Eastside Trail now winds through the Edge construction site, a Beltline-straddling mixed-use build between Edgewood and DeKalb avenues. Edge has signed a roster of retail, including Atlanta’s next Shake Shack and Kevin Gillespie’s Cold Beer concept.
Curbed Atlanta

Collectively, the Beltline-spurred changes are described by CBRE as “a strong positive effect on the surrounding commercial real estate” that speaks to the desirability of “one of Atlanta’s newest paths of commerce.”

The report points to several blockbuster developments—existing, under-construction, and planned—across the city as drivers of change.

How Beltline rents have drastically outpaced those in Atlanta’s Central Business District in recent years.
CBRE

These include Ponce City and Krog Street markets, of course, and the under-construction, 371,000-square-foot 725 Ponce, as well as Westside endeavors Lee + White (23 acres of warehouses being converted to a food and beverage district) and the planned Quarry Yards redevelopment.

On the housing front, meanwhile, CBRE tabulates that more than 5,000 multifamily units have opened or are under construction along the Beltline.