With summer just over the horizon, we thought it would be a good time to take a look back at some of our recent Four on Friday interviews. Below are links to and excerpts from four interviews from the first several months of 2015. They are good examples of the insight into the commercial real estate markets, and the personalities that help shape those markets, that we try to provide every Friday.
How do you think Atlanta development has changed in the past ten years, and how do you feel it will change in the next ten?
Oliver: Obviously the trend has been to develop mixed-use, transit and urban infill projects. If you look back to 2006, Atlantic Station, Terminus and our Two Buckhead Plaza development were on the forefront of combining commercial and residential space to create dynamic live/work environments. That has been taken to a whole new level with the recent openings of Avalon, Buckhead Atlanta, Ponce City Market and scores of multifamily infill projects that are positioned to play off existing commercial and residential density.
Going forward there will be more infill, transit and mixed-use projects due to the concerns with traffic, which is our number one impediment.
Over the course of your career, you've worked on a number of high-profile Atlanta projects, including Buckhead Atlanta, Pemberton Place, Philips Arena and the renovation of CNN Center. Is there any one particular project of which you're most proud?
Richardson: It may sound cliché but my favorite project has always been the one I’m either working on today or my most recent one. When Phillips Arena opened and the CNN Center renovations were completed back in 1999 and 2000, it was my favorite for linkage to Centennial Olympic Park and their contribution to Downtown Atlanta. When working on Pemberton Place for Coca-Cola and seeing the master plan come to fruition, it was my favorite as it anchored the north end of Centennial Olympic Park and added further dimension to Atlanta in terms of its destinational appeal.
And now Buckhead Atlanta is my favorite. It was the most difficult and complex development I’ve ever been involved with given its history and the effort involved in bringing this district of Buckhead back to life.
What's your idea of the perfect day?
Bemis: I’m in Park City, and the day starts with an early-morning phone call informing me that a game-changing deal has closed. Then it’s off to the slopes with my family, hike to the peak of Jupiter Peak and jump off into 24 inches of powder. Close out the day with a quiet dinner downtown with great wine, family and friends.
You have brokered so many restaurant deals, what do you feel has changed in the Atlanta restaurant scene in the past decade?
Crawford and Heimburger: Atlanta has become more of an epicurean city. We all learned our lesson from Emeril and Craft shuttering in Buckhead. Atlantans are
loyal foodies and feel a camaraderie with their local restauranteurs. We want to feel that connection and root for the home team. There are so many talented chefs and sous chefs that are ready to venture out and start their own concepts, and they are venturing out to the suburbs as well.