|ACBJ : Atlanta : Archive : 2000 : March : Week of March 6, 2000 : Focus: Commercial Real Estate|
Focus: Commercial Real Estate
Downtown projects rack up awards
Jim Molis and Elizabeth Drachman
This year's Best in Atlanta Real Estate Awards could just as easily be called Best in Downtown Atlanta Real Estate.
Three of the seven winning deals were downtown projects. Furthermore, the first recipient of the annual Visionary Award, John Portman, has been a major proponent of downtown development over the last few decades.
Downtown projects won the awards for office, retail and design deals. The winner of the overall deal of the year award, BellSouth Corp.'s Metro Plan, also includes a downtown component.
Much has been made of attempts to revitalize downtown in recent years. Boosters are trying to lure businesses and residents to the city's core as a way of combating sprawl.
The fact that the downtown deals honored include several types of projects is indicative of the comprehensive push for intown development. Shopping malls, office buildings and residential communities all are integral components in an urban community.
The land deal of the year, the expansion of Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport, impacts the entire metropolitan region. The industrial deals -- led by Amazon.com Inc.'s Henry County distribution center -- indicate that the region is able to attract companies from other states.
Coupled with the projects of hometown companies such as BellSouth, that ability to draw businesses and residents from elsewhere will continue to fuel Atlanta's expansion.
This year's award-winning commercial real estate deals were chosen for a variety of reasons. Some -- like those for the airport expansion and Underground Atlanta -- were honored for the parties' abilities to overcome numerous hurdles. Others, like Historic Westside Village's revitalization plans, were noteworthy because of their scope. Also in this commercial real estate section, some of Atlanta's leading commercial real estate executives share their strategies for working with the area's burgeoning technology community . Visionary Portman discusses his views on development. And stories about submarkets highlight growing areas in metropolitan Atlanta, Cumberland-Galleria and North Fulton.
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