Apr 25, 2024 - Real Estate

Atlanta's most expensive street is no longer in Buckhead

A photo of cars driving past a large brick mixed-use building with a vertical "PONCE" sign

Credit: Thomas Wheatley/Axios

A relatively small stretch of Ponce de Leon Avenue — yes, Ponce — has bumped Phipps as Atlanta's most expensive street for office space, per a new study by real estate group JLL.

Why it matters: The draw of new office options outside Downtown's central business district is reshaping Atlanta's commercial real estate and prompting civic officials to rethink the future of vacant towers.

Context: The Beltline's Eastside Trail and the mixed-use mania it sparked — 725 Ponce and Ponce City Market, specifically — have helped turn the famed nightlife corridor into the country's 15th most expensive commercial street.

Of note: Those two mixed-use projects, plus the under-construction 619 Ponce, the four-story mass timber loft office building, drove those higher rents.

What they're saying: "While new office development might be limited over the short-term, it will still remain a vibrant pocket of activity across property types and will be a location that landlords and developers are motivated to invest in," Jacob Rowden of JLL told Axios.

Zoom in: In the latest study, Ponce was trailed by Spring Street in Midtown and Howell Mill Road on the Westside.

  • The area around Phipps in Buckhead, which topped JLL's previous 2019 study, ranked No. 4.

By the numbers: Ponce's average asking rent in 2023 was $65.01 per square foot, with its highest hitting $75 per square foot.

  • It had a 2.1% vacancy rate at the end of 2023, the second lowest of JLL's top expensive streets in the country.

Of note: This year marks the first time since 2005 that a non-Buckhead commercial corridor snagged the top spot.

  • The North Atlanta community controlled half the list 20 years ago; today two of its streets made the cut. The general Midtown area makes up the rest.

Zoom out: This follows a national trend of prime office corridors migrating from central business districts post-pandemic and into "off-core peripheral urban neighborhoods," per the report.

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