With the end of 2013 just around the corner, we thought it was a good time to get some perspective on the nearly completed year from Summey Orr, managing partner of Hartman Simons. In today’s Four on Friday, we chat with him about how commercial real estate performed in 2013, Hartman Simon’s brisk pace of business and which ACC football team he will be cheering on in person during this bowl season.

Many thanks to Summey for his time. And before we dive into the Q&A, we’d like to wish our blog readers a very merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year.

Headshot-aorr2013 is drawing to a close. How would you assess the performance of the various commercial real estate sectors in Atlanta and the Southeast this year?

Orr: I think the word I’d use to describe it is “positive.” Hartman Simons has been fortunate to be involved in several exciting projects in 2013 in the multifamily, office, industrial and retail markets, just to name a few, and we’ve seen strong activity in all of them. And in 2013 it’s been mostly “good” activity, with willing and even anxious buyers/sellers, landlord/tenants, etc. Real estate is in general a positive process, and during the recession, most of the deals were negative for a least one party (foreclosure, short end of a short sale, etc.). Positive is better.

What are some commercial real estate trends to keep an eye out for in 2014?

Orr: Confidence in the market will bring out more activity, across the board. The investment market should improve, leasing should continue to pick up, and we’ll see more development. With respect to development, expect to continue to see more unique, concept-type development. Avalon and Ponce City Market have shown us two great examples in 2013 of how a different product can create its own market. 

What kind of year was 2013 for Hartman Simons?

Orr: We’ve had a very strong year — we’ve made some significant additions to our team, and our clients have kept us all busy. After going through a few years of staring at the phone waiting for it to ring, nobody’s complaining about the ramped-up pace. Again, it’s positive, and that’s always good.

Fun question: How do you plan to unwind after a frenzied year-end?

Orr: We are headed to Miami after New Year’s for the Orange Bowl to cheer on my wife and son’s school, Clemson. Based on their last appearance in the Orange Bowl, they need all the help they can get. And I need all the Miami funshine I can get, so it should be a good fit.