Four Atlanta commercial real
estate giants gathered to talk about their careers and discuss the current
state of the market at NAIOP Georgia’s recent “May
Legends Panel.” The panel discussion was held at the JW Marriott Buckhead.
participants included Don Childress, a senior managing partner for Childress
Klein who oversees the firm’s Atlanta office; A.J. Land, the founder and
chairman of Pope & Land Enterprises; Jack Rooker,
chairman and CEO of Rooker; and Ferdinand Seefried, founder and chairman of
Seefried Industrial Properties.
Chris Riley, a vice chairman of CBRE,
moderated the discussion.
Below are four of the many interesting opinions
and observations voiced during the hour-long discussion:
• Industrial Spec
Development Is on the Horizon. Significant spec development of industrial
facilities – a sure sign that demand for the properties has reached a
considerable level – won’t happen in Atlanta this year, but is a real
possibility in 2014 or 2015, Seefried said.
• Multifamily Heading
toward Overbuilt Status. The apartment sector is thriving now, both in
Atlanta and across the nation, and developers are looking to take advantage.
The bump in apartment construction is leading to an inevitable result,
Childress said. “It’s a matter of time, he said. “In 12 to 24 months, we will
overbuild that market.”
• Leadership Needed
in Metro Atlanta. Several of the participants voiced concerns about
Atlanta’s traffic woes and the political community’s ability to solve them.
“I would encourage people in organizations [to] look around
and find out who the best people are,” Rooker said. “Push them to [positions of
community and political] leadership. It’s going to take a lot of good
leadership” to address metro Atlanta’s traffic and infrastructure issues.
• No Guarantees.
Land drew big laughs with his response to Riley’s questions about the best
advice the panelists had ever received.
“Don’t guarantee a business loan,” Land deadpanned.