Real Estate Notebook: Instacart to Ponce City Market; 170 tech jobs to Midtown

San Francisco on-demand grocery delivery company Instacart is considering a major presence at Midtown’s Ponce City Market.

Instacart has entered advanced discussions for a regional office at the mixed-use project on Ponce de Leon Avenue and the Atlanta Beltline Eastside Trail, according to sources familiar with the lease negotiations.

The company is eyeing about 40,000 square feet on the 8th floor of Ponce City Market, where health technology company Athenahealth is offering some of its space for lease.

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East side belt line Ponce City Market

Instacart did not respond to an inquiry from Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Real estate services firm Avison Young is representing Athenahealth in marketing the space for a sublease but was not authorized to comment on lease negotiations with potential tenants.

In May, Gov. Nathan Deal’s office announced Instacart would invest $40 million in a customer experience center in Atlanta that would create at least 400 jobs over the next two years.

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Instacart launched in metro Atlanta in 2014 and partners to provide grocery delivery services to retailers such as Whole Foods Market, Aldi, CVS, Publix, Costco and Petco.

The technology-based grocery service, valued at more than $4 billion earlier this year, introduced same-day delivery in more than 240 markets across North America since its launch in 2012. In August, Instacart began extended service area around Atlanta to 495,000 households, while saying it would add more than 100 new shoppers.

Earlier this year, Nick Friedrich, Instacart head of customer operations, said, “We are excited to launch our world class [customer experience center] here in Atlanta, as the new office will be a key asset in our mission to redefine the customer experience and develop support services for new Instacart products.”

In Atlanta, Instacart has been represented by Wildmor Advisors in lease negotiations.

Parkside plans Chamblee’s largest office project yet

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“Edison at Eastside will contain 6 creative loft office buildings totaling 340,000 square feet, creating more than 1,200 new jobs in the city,” the developer says in plans filed with the city of Chamblee. “The project will be seamlessly integrated into Parkside’s current adaptive reuse loft… more

A 30-acre development next to Peachtree DeKalb Airport is the largest office project ever planned for Chamblee.

Atlanta real estate company Parkside Partners proposes a six-building loft-office development on a site pitched more than a decade ago as The International Village, a mix of restaurants, shops and a trade center around a market square. The plans were undermined by the recession and the property has remained vacant.

Parkside Partners would develop buildings ranging from 30,000 square feet to 90,000 square feet based on market demand.

The project, to be called Edison at Eastside, would rise along Chamblee Tucker and Chamblee Dunwoody roads next to the Atlanta Chinatown Mall. Parkside’s development would also border loft office buildings that it’s started along New Peachtree Road.

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Site plan of the Eastside Chamblee project.

Parkside Partners has filed an application with the city for a Development of Community Impact.

Kyle Jenks, founding principal of Parkside Partners, said the large amount of office space reflects tenants’ demand to work in walkable areas near transit and multi-use trails. The area around the project includes the Chamblee MARTA station, where $400 million in mixed-use developments are underway, and the rail-trail corridor.

Chamblee has seen MARTA’s Gold Line act as a catalyst for several projects, including “Trackside,” a 76,000 square foot office development that Parkside Partners is finishing this summer.

Investment into the city has also picked up. Earlier this year, an investor paid $68 million for a Chamblee shopping center anchored by Whole Foods. It traded hands at a staggering $630 per square foot.

Jenks saw this coming. In a 2008 interview with Atlanta Business Chronicle, he had said: “We think Buckhead is coming up Peachtree, and we’re on the forefront of that trend. Chamblee is becoming a great intown area. Five years from now, it won’t look the same.”

Since 2009, Parkside Partners has developed eight projects in Chamblee totaling more than 400,000 square feet. Its projects have landed 70 companies that were new to Chamblee.

“Based on the success of these project, Parkside recognizes the opportunity and need to accelerate the development of the properties on the east side of the MARTA tracks,” the developer said in an executive summary filed with the city of Chamblee.

Edison at Eastside could be a spark for up to 1,200 new jobs in Chamblee, according to estimates from the developer.

“This is reflection of how much the Chamblee office submarket is maturing,” Jenks said.

The new loft office project by the airport is designed by Wakefield Beasley, the same architect behind the Avalon mixed-use town center in Alpharetta and The Battery Atlanta, the mixed-use project beside SunTrust Park.

A San Francisco fintech company is launching a regional office just south of Midtown’s Technology Square where it plans to create 170 jobs over the next few years.

Revel Systems, owned by private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, continues to expand now eight years after it was founded around the idea of developing a point-of-sales software platform.

In Atlanta, Revel Systems lands in a national hub for the payments industry led by giants such as NCR Corp. and First Data Corp. The new regional Atlanta office will be led by Erick Kobres, Revel Systems chief technology officer and a former director in software development and innovation for NCR Corp.

Revel Systems has been ramping up in Atlanta over the past year and now has 40 people in Midtown’s WeWork location at Colony Square, Kobres said.

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New Relic will locate at WeWork at Colony Square.

It will move later this summer into Bank of America Plaza and occupy the 38th floor of the city’s tallest office tower.

The regional office will stand two blocks south of Technology Square, where Georgia Tech is more than halfway through construction of its Coda mixed-use tower, a potential landing spot for multiple research and development centers. Revel Systems is already building stronger ties to Georgia Tech, a pipeline for future fintech software engineers.

Bank of America Plaza provided Revel Systems with an urban environment and proximity to MARTA, both important for the company’s workforce, Kobres said. He added that the tower sits in an opportunity zone. Those zones provide companies an annual income tax credit of $3,500 for each job created.

Greg Dukat, CEO of Revel Systems, said in prepared statements, “Our new Atlanta office will enable us to accelerate the development of innovative solutions to meet the needs of new and existing customers and support our burgeoning partner network.”

Christian Devlin, with real estate services company CBRE Group Inc., represented Revel Systems in the lease transaction.

San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties LLC has been investing in its Bank of America Plaza since it acquired the trophy tower in early 2016. The landlord has focused heavily on attracting technology companies that are looking for slightly more affordable rates than those offered at Midtown’s Ponce City Market and Coda, where asking rents for prime space are about $50 per square foot.

Shorenstein has also upgraded the building’s amenities.

America Plaza’s new food hall in its west wing

The area around Bank of America Plaza, sometimes referred to as the SoNo district because of its location south of North Avenue, has seen a resurgence.

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A look inside Bank of America Plaza’s new food hall in its west wing

Revel Systems execs echoed that sentiment, saying the tower and the district surrounding it are in the midst of an upswing.

Star Metals apartment project gets construction financing

Developers of a 409-unit apartment project on Atlanta’s Westside have secured a $90 million construction loan.

The Allen Morris Co. said initial site work is underway on its Star Metals Residences at 1050 Howell Mill Road.

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Star Metals project, Howell Mill

Square Mile Capital Management LLC and Pacific Western Bank provided $90 million in financing for the residential development, which will also include 16,300 square feet of retail.

Juneau Construction is the contractor for Star Metals Residences.

The area of West Midtown is part of a much broader group of Westside neighborhoods that have seen investment and development boom, particularly along the Howell Mill corridor between 14thand 8th streets and Huff Road and Chattahoochee Avenue.

Miami-based architect Chad Oppenheim and Warner Summers Architecture are designing The Allen Morris Co. project, which will be called Star Metals.

The Allen Morris Co. also expects to start the other piece of the mixed-use project as early as August, the 14-story Star Metals Offices. Earlier this year, it negotiated a lease with co-working company Spaces, which will occupy just over 56,000 square feet in the $120 million office project.

Brasfield & Gorrie is the contractor for Star Metals Offices.

The entire development is rising on the site of West Midtown’s former landmark Star Iron and Metal Co.

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One of several new projects between 14th and 8th streets on Howell Mill is 8 West, a mix of office space and apartments with street-level shops and restaurants.

It will be closely watched how city planners and Westside business leaders improve the Howell Mill corridor’s existing traffic congestion between 14th and Northside Drive, with more than 500,000 square feet of offices and well over 1,000 new apartments slated to begin construction in the next several months.

Sprinkles shutters Lenox Square store

Three years ago, Sprinkles Cupcakes got a front-row seat on the multi-million dollar facelift at Lenox Square.

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Lenox Square in Atlanta.

Now, it’s given up that spot and left the Atlanta market.

Sprinkles officially closed its only Atlanta location July 26. Its next closest store in the Southeast is in Tampa, Fla.

In shuttering its Lenox Square shop, which occupied a spot facing the Peachtree Road entrance, Sprinkles leaves behind a sweet opportunity for the next retailer to seize.

When asked whether the space is back on the market for lease, Lenox Square landlord Simon Property Group wouldn’t bite.

“Unfortunately, at this time, [Simon Property] has no information to share,” according to a statement from its PR firm.

It will be interesting to see if the mall owner moves another existing high-profile Lenox Square tenant into that prime spot. It won’t come cheap. Sprinkles was likely paying well over $90 per square foot.

It’s also worth watching over the next few months whether Sprinkles was alone in seeing foot-traffic slow down, or if the culinary craze for cupcakes that started heating up as the recession was ending has finally started to cool.

Real Talk is a collection of Atlanta real estate briefs.

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