By Ben Jackson, Associate, Office Tenant Representation
The city of Alpharetta, which sits 15 miles north of the heart of Buckhead, is a suburban market that has seen significant changes in the landscape. What used to be a sleepy sprawling neighborhood market has now become an active and connected “live, work, play” city. Three Fortune 500 headquarters and 900 technology companies have continued to provide the active and dynamic workforce for this area. Die-hard Atlanta natives have ventured north to experience chef-driven restaurants and high-end retail.
Today, Alpharetta has established its brand and culture to be entrepreneurial, engaging, and welcoming. With a nod to its history and vision for the future, north Fulton has seen tremendous growth in the past three years.
According to the North Fulton Chamber, Alpharetta has one of the deepest talent pools in the South, with 3,500 workers per square mile. With companies like Jackson Healthcare planning to add 1,400 new jobs in the next five years, this market will continue to experience population growth and a tighter job market. From 2000 to 2014, Alpharetta’s population nearly doubled from 34,854 residents to 60,903 residents, a growth of 75 percent over a 14-year period. Nielsen projects compound annual population and household growth of 1.3 percent during the next five years, placing the population of the city at approximately 67,135 residents by 2021.
With Avalon fully finished now and hosting 25 dining options and more than 60 retailers, the market has clearly identified its nucleus. With SunTrust Park, The Shops of Buckhead, Ponce City Market and Krog Street, many parts of the city have already seen the value of having a major destination. Alpharetta needed a destination that hosts more than 250 scheduled events throughout the year to support over 20,000 family households within 10 miles of Avalon.
Office leasing rates are reaching historic levels each quarter, causing office tenants to be more strategic about space utilization. Class A direct asking rents have increased 21 percent since 2012, and over 4.5 million square feet of office space has been leased in the same time period. It has become a clear “landlord” market where tenants must engage the market early on and work to create leverage in order to land favorable economics.
With a strong economy and positive employment outlook, Alpharetta seems to have found its identity.