This weekend
marks the start of the weeklong BB&T Atlanta Open tennis tournament. For
the second straight year, the tournament, which this year will feature players
such as Brian Baker, Mardy Fish and
John Isner, will be held at Atlantic Station in Midtown

Station is owned and managed by North American Properties (NAP). In this Four
on Friday, we chat with NAP Managing Partner Mark Toro about the tournament,
Atlanta’s traffic woes and the metro area’s greatest strengths. And, oh yeah, a
certain Eagles tune gets mentioned as well.

thanks to Mark for his time.

Mark-Toro_generic_pageWhat kind of an
impact do you expect this BB&T Atlanta Open to have on Atlantic Station
specifically and on Atlanta as a whole?

Toro: The Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau projects that the
BB&T Atlanta Open will have an economic impact in excess of $10.3 million
this year, bringing more than 50,000 tennis fans, countless media and players
from 18 countries to Midtown Atlanta. The exposure for Atlantic Station, not to
mention the boost in sales during tournament week, will be tremendous.

We’re nearing
the one-year anniversary of the defeat of the TSPLOST, an initiative that
you and many other members of the real estate and
general business communities supported strongly
. At this point, how optimistic are you about metro
Atlanta’s ability and willingness to address its traffic problems?

Toro: I remain optimistic, if for no other reason than SOMETHING has got to
be done. There are a number of fledgling movements underway that will result in
Atlanta pulling itself up by its bootstraps and getting back to work — it’s our

As Atlanta’s
economy and commercial real estate markets continue to recover, what do you
consider the economic strengths and weaknesses of the metro area to be?

Toro: We will continue to be the economic engine of the region, driving job
growth through innovation and creativity. I’m especially bullish on the growth
potential of Atlanta’s intown communities, where our creative class

A light-hearted
question: If you had to pick your all-time favorite song, what would it be?

Toro: “Desperado.”