January 10, 2019
Just a few minutes north of Buckhead and Brookhaven, shopping centers in Chamblee are selling for near-record prices while hot new restaurants and boutiques are opening and housing is still more affordable.
Once a gritty industrial corridor, early movers including restaurants like Southbound, Hopstix and Oriental Pearl helped put Chamblee on the map as a destination for discretionary spending.
Now Chamblee is a becoming mecca for residential and retail investments that are paving the way for new office space or adaptive re-use of industrial buildings in the coming years. Chamblee officials are working on creating a comprehensive master plan that would establish “Town Center” around which retail, residential and other defined districts would be formed.
CF Real Estate Services recently built The Oliver Chamblee, a 280-unit apartment building just a block from the Chamblee MARTA station. Two-bedroom apartments rent for less than $2/SF per month, which is less than half the cost of similar apartments in Buckhead a couple miles down the road. The Oliver features coworking office space, indoor bocce, billiards and a giant retro-looking sign on top that trumpets the location in neon red letters: CHAMBLEE.
Restaurants, retail, medical offices and others businesses are also flocking to Chamblee.
Chase Medlin, the former head brewer at Twain’s Brewpub & Billiards in Decatur, recently opened a new brewery called Contrast Artisan Ales in a converted garage on Peachtree Road.
A couple blocks away at the Parkview on Peachtree mixed-use development, there are is new office space, casual restaurants, medical offices, a bank, a nail salon and a children’s haircut store. There’s also a new restaurant called The Alden by chef Jared Hucks, who previously founded the Dogwood Table supper club and had a stint at Atlanta’s Bacchanalia and Michelin-rated Noma in Copenhagen earlier in his career.
Another sign of investor confidence in Chamblee’s continued rise is the more than $630/SF that Sarofin Realty Advisors recently paid to buy Peachtree Station, the shopping center anchored by Whole Foods. That’s the highest price for a shopping center in metro Atlanta in more than a decade, according to Bisnow.
Chamblee’s attractiveness opens the door for more office space that could woo tenants away from Buckhead or Sandy Springs.
Vacancy rates in the Chamblee/Doraville/North Druid Hills submarket are just 8.4% and asking rents range from the low $20s to low $30s per square foot, which is well below rates in nearby Buckhead, according to CoStar data.
Piedmont Commercial Real Estate recently rehabbed the Whaley Machine Co. industrial building into sleek new offices with asking rates of $23.50/SF. Another new entrant is a co-working space called The Globe Hub located next to Peachtree-DeKalb Airport, where hot desks rent for just $125 per month.
We think more office space will soon sprout up along the Chamblee corridor, providing an interesting new option for companies with a workforce that lives north of Buckhead.
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