• Atlanta

The Rise of Food Halls in Atlanta

By: David C. Smith, Vice President, Americas Head of Occupier Research

The national food hall trend is in full swing. By the end of 2020 the U.S. is expected to have approximately 450 food halls in operation, which is a nearly fourfold increase from 2016. The convergence of foodie culture and the sharing economy have found a compelling marriage that is attractive to landlords, restaurateurs and customers.

For developers and landlords, the rise of the food hall anchor in residential and mixed-use developments, shopping malls and office towers, has been spurred by a new type of tenant that attracts consumers hungry for authenticity and an experiential lifestyle. – Food Halls 3.0: The Evolution Continues

In Atlanta, there are currently six food halls that are fully open. Another four are planned to open in the second half of this year, and the city’s total is scheduled to hit 15 by the end of 2020. The oldest of these is the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, which was started in 1924 (as The Municipal Market). Originally designed as a location for local famers to sell their products in Downtown Atlanta, it is now home to a dozen restaurants alongside several produce and meat vendors.

More recently, food halls have opened up in other parts of Atlanta’s Central Business District (CBD) with Krog Street Market and Ponce City Market, both of which are adjacent to the Beltline’s Eastside Trail. Looking forward, there are four projects either planned or under construction in the CBD (three in Midtown and one in Buckhead). However, the momentum of near-term growth in the food hall market is primarily moving towards Atlanta suburbs with an urban, walkable feel to them. For example, one just opened on Marietta Square, and The Battery will also house a food hall by the end of 2019.

Map created by Cushman & Wakefield’s GIS Mapping team

Cushman & Wakefield’s new report, Food Halls 3.0: The Evolution Continues, takes a deep dive into the food hall trend across the United States. In particular, it explores some new developments in the sector:

  • Expansion into shopping malls, college campuses and office towers
  • Partnerships with craft brewers
  • Growth of live performance, entertainment and community-driven spaces inside food halls
  • Evolution in food hall design enabling more efficiencies for vendors and greater common space
  • Potential areas of risk for investors and developers

To download and read the full report, click here.

For more analysis on the future of experiential retail, check out Cushman & Wakefield’s Are You Experienced? The Great Retail Reinvention report series here.

David Smith is the Vice President, Americas Head of Occupier Research. He produces occupier thought leadership content for the Research Center of Excellence and directs a program of market presentations, written analysis, surveys, forecasts, and data collection that supports Global Occupier Services and the brokerage business, as well as advance the strategic plan in Americas Research.

  • Atlanta

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