Maybe you know this guy from his 24-year career in commercial real estate. Or maybe from his college basketball days at Auburn University where he played with the legendary Charles Barkley. Either way, Jim Devaney with NAI Brannen Goddard is a good guy to know. Jim is ranked as one of the top office brokers in Atlanta. (Unfortunately, Jim is no longer available for autograph sessions unless you are interested in signing a lease!) A special thanks to Jim for letting us interview him for our Four on Friday tradition…and maybe an even bigger thanks for letting us use this picture!

Basketball Article_Jim Devaney
HS: What you are seeing out there in the office market?

JD:  The Fortune 1000 is always looking for ways to cut costs. The majority of these companies are trying to be more efficient by lowering square footage per person. While everyone is sensitive to lowering occupancy costs, we are seeing some job growth in medium to small-sized companies.

HS: So I guess you would say this is it still a tenant’s market?

JD: Yes. There are a lot of concessions coming down including landlords providing free rent, larger build out allowances and moving related costs. We are seeing a number of typical class C tenants negotiating leases in class B buildings. This also applies to class B tenants moving into class A facilities. And why not? These tenants are moving up a grade for the same price.

HS: What types of properties are leasing?

JD:  It is simple. The properties leasing are the ones with owners willing to make deals. In Atlanta, any size tenant has so many choices. If you don’t make a deal, someone else will. In terms of the Atlanta market, properties in Buckhead were hot during first quarter. Buckhead experienced a positive absorption of over 250,000 rentable square feet while Downtown, Midtown and Central Perimeter markets gave back the most amount of space.

HS: What keeps you busy outside the world of CRE?

JD: I’ve really gotten into triathlons. In the last five years I have competed in more than 20. I also enjoy golf and still shoot some hoops from time to time.