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Midtown on the Build: Too Many Apartments?

Immovable Media provides a video peek at the progress of a trio of Midtown apartment projects. 

This week, Midtown Patch looked at Midtown area apartment news with the developers behind Ponce City Market announcing they were shifting from condominiums to apartments and the 12th & Midtown development team acquiring more property in the heart of Midtown in anticipation of buidling more apartments.

The SkyHouse Midtown apartment tower (320 units) and the nearby 77 12th apartment high-rise (330 units) are to be delivered this year. Also in 2013, the 100 6th Street apartment tower (320 units) and a mixed-use apartment project (280 units) on a 2.5-acre Midtown property off Ponce de Leon Avenue will break ground.

Courtesy of Immovable Media, see the attached YouTube videos depicting a trio of these projects. And for more from Immovable Media, see here.

In addition, developers behind a 329-unit apartment building near Atlantic Station are looking to break ground this spring with hopes to construct an adjacent 300-plus unit apartment project in 2014.

According to a recent Atlanta Business Chronicle article, since 1997, approximately 6,800 new residential units have been constructed in the core district of Midtown. Those new dwellings helped bring around 9,600 new residents to the area.

Condo inventory is dwindling in Midtown, but will all these new apartment units be filled? The developers contend that Midtown’s apartment market is underserved and they believe enough 20-and-30-year olds will opt to rent intown rather than own outside the perimeter. What do you think?

Five, six, eight, 10, 15 years from now, what will the apartment and condo occupancy landscape look like in Midtown Atlanta?

Urbanist January 24, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Good god..."renters are not the ideal neighbors"? There are plenty of renters in this city, and every other city across the globe, that are far better neighbors and far larger contributors to their city than you are. Unfortunately, Atlanta is full of Kennesaw transplants that think the apex of accomplishment is home ownership. Point in case.
Filtered78 January 24, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Other than understanding basic supply-demand theory and principles, you clearly have no idea what you're talking about, evidenced by your numerous babbling posts. You sound like you're a native OTP resident and like to poo poo on intown happenings. Get a life. Enjoy your hour-long commute tonight.
wss January 25, 2013 at 02:29 AM
Urbanist is right. The new apartment buildings are nothing but good news. Complaints about the architectural style of the new buildings aside, this is what midtown and the rest of Atlanta desperately needs. I own a condo overlooking the new developments on 7th Street and I couldn't be more pleased. We need density. If we can get more people to move to the area everything else we want to achieve from an urbanism standpoint gets closer to reality. If there is any complaint to be made, it is the over emphasis on "luxury" apartments. I'm sorry Dookie Doo but you really could not be more wrong on this.
Dookie Doo January 25, 2013 at 04:11 PM
When the bubble bursts, you'll see I was right.
Dookie Doo January 25, 2013 at 04:13 PM
Urbanist, you must be one of those renters who couldn't qualify for a home loan so now that they put up these fancy looking but cheaply built apartments, you can now afford to live in midtown. Well good for you. Bad for the people who had the ability to purchase as oppose to rent.
Dookie Doo January 25, 2013 at 04:16 PM
@Filtered, explain what it is you think I don't understand. Have I said anything that hasn't happened already with the condo market that is just now recovering? Oversaturation will lead to lower prices which leads to lower quality renters. What part of that don't you understand?
Dookie Doo January 25, 2013 at 04:19 PM
The bottom line is condos that promote ownership are good. Renters are bad. Owners are active in making communities clean and safe. Renters don't care because they're only planning to stay a year or two so who cares how shitty the neighborhood is. Renters didn't do much to clean up "West Midtown". What makes you think they're going to do anything better for the Peachtree Corridor?
Urbanist January 25, 2013 at 08:02 PM
@ Dookie - I'm a renter who probably pays more in rent than you do on your mortgage. However, I rent because I like my mobility. I don't like the idea of having to fix my own appliances when they break, having to mow a yard on the weekends, or losing the opportunity to change places and/or cities when an opportunity to do so comes along. I also know that measuring my life by what I experience and accomplish, rather than what I own, is a much better gauge of value. P.S. - you do realize that the virtues, well the delusion of those virtues, of home ownership that you're preaching about are what got our economy where it was today. To simplify that, it was morons who were duped into putting their entire lot in life into a piece of property because they thought it would add some prestige to their life. Didn't quite work out that way...
arctk2011tj January 25, 2013 at 09:14 PM
"Renters are bad"??! - HA! Most people who become condo owners are/were renters. If you're concerned about oversaturation of the renters market into the condo market you're forgetting that apartments and condos are two different markets. Yes, some condos have been converted to apartments and some apartments are designed to eventually turn over into condos- but that doesn't have a drastic negative impact to de-value condo's across the entire city. There are plenty of condo owners who are bad neighbors as well. "Renters didn't do much to clean up "West Midtown" " - What are you referring to concerning "clean up"? Funny how some of the city's best restaurants (even some ranked as the top in the country) are located in West Midtown. There are many more factors other than renters that contribute to a community's presence.
Dookie Doo January 25, 2013 at 09:29 PM
@Tyler. Let me guess........ You're another one if those 20-30 something transplants from some sh!thole little town in Mississippi or Alabama who want a trendy new apartment in a fancy building but don't have the credit or income to buy one of those pads. So as soon as news breaks that there's going to be brand new glass buildings with rentals in them, you jump for joy because you finally have the opportunity to experience what you thought would never happen. Little do you realize what letting people like you in the neighborhood will do to the truly successful people who are able to afford to buy. I'm sure those people are thrilled to have guys like you as neighbors.
Chris H January 25, 2013 at 09:54 PM
You don't get out much do you? There are wonderful neighborhoods south of I-20 that are filled with successful young people. Guess you've never been to Grant Park, Ormewood Park or Glenwood Park, have you? Stay in Buckhead all you want.
Chris H January 25, 2013 at 09:59 PM
I think it just depends on the person. If you are an A-hole while renting, you are gonna be an A-hole owner too. Also each apartment complex is different. I rented at Highland Walk in O4W and had a great experience. I then rented at Eon @ Lindbergh and it was full of wanna be rappers and was awful and much more expensive than the previous place. I would always check https://www.apartmentratings.com/ before moving into a place to see what really goes on.
arctk2011tj January 26, 2013 at 12:08 AM
Are you really trying to validate "truly successful" people as condo owners and homeowners? I know plenty of successful people who could afford to buy a condo but just are not willing to take that risk at this moment. Some professionals know they will be here for less than 5 years because of job/career situations. Some are being mindful of what true success is and saving in order to buy a condo, house, etc. Sure I could afford to buy a condo, but I'd rather be more financially sound than contribute to the volatility of the housing market- which caused us this big mess in the first place. That being said name ONE place in the world where there's a successful neighborhood that is solely condos. Some of the most successful neighborhoods are the ones with diversity- diversity in housing, population..... even diversity in density, culture, and history. If you ask me it sounds like you invested in the wrong area at the wrong time with your condo. You referenced earlier: "When supply beats demand, prices will be lowered to the point that the common joe schmoe will move in and bring property values down. Nobody thought it would happen with the condos built between 2004 and 2008 but it did. People scooped up units in viewpoint, spire and metropolis for a fraction of what the original asking price was. Part of the problem was the supply outnumbered demand for a time period." The reality is that this was caused be homeowners - NOT renters.
Dookie Doo January 26, 2013 at 12:53 PM
@Urbanist. I'm wouldn't be surprised you pay more in rent that I pay for ownership. That's a huge investment mistake if you ask me. Pay more upfront and have no equity in the back end. That makes a lot of sense. Even if you are "upwardly mobile", as you can see, the rental trend is currently hot. Even if you had to leave, if you owned, you could rent your condo if you had to leave. When the market for rentals eventually cooled and the buying market heated up, you could have kicked the renter out and sold the place making a profit on the back end with the increasing equity. What are they teaching you kids in college these days?
KA January 28, 2013 at 07:35 PM
I'm not sure what 20-something can afford $1500+ for a studio apartment on Crescent Ave. A 1 bedroom is around $2000 / mo. This place will be empty when they open. Skyhouse is a little more affordable but is in no man's land. $1500 for a 1 bedroom still seems steep to live on West Peachtree.
Urbanist January 28, 2013 at 07:39 PM
@ Dookie - So you're not surprised that I likely pay more than you to for your mortgage, but you implied that I would be unable to qualify for a mortgage. That makes sense. "Pay more upfront and have no equity in the back end" How did that work for those that paid more up front and expected equity on the back end a couple of years ago? Oh, that's right - many not only lost all their equity, but they actually have negative equity in their properties...so they paid more up front and had less than what they started with. As far as my mobility is concerned - what if I don't want to be a landlord? What if I don't want to have to manage leasing, repairs, and renters from 1,000 miles away? According to you, it makes more sense to pay more up front, wind up with less on the back end, and have to deal with the headache of being a landlord....for what? So I can say I own a home? Yipee... What they're teaching us in college is not to follow the incorrect, ignorant, status quo advice from people with their heads up their tails.
Chris H January 28, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Both Skyhouse and 77 12th street both have a good number of apartments already pre-leased. Skyhouse is now finally open and 77 12th (floors 6 - 9) will be open this spring. They will in no way be empty. I'll find the article that gives you the pre-leasing data so you can have the facts. Let me track it down....
Dookie Doo January 29, 2013 at 11:54 AM
@urbanist, you can't qualify for a mortgage based on you crap credit and living beyond your means in your over priced apartment. Appearently you went to some second rate college that taught you not to follow "status quo". If status quo is for people like me to buy cheap in the recession and sell high to the people that missed the boat 6 months from today, I hope you stay out of the market and let guys like me make all the money. Maybe I'll even give you the priviledge of overcharging you for rent one day. LOL.
Tom January 30, 2013 at 12:01 AM
People are more concerned about apt then a crazy innocent shooting victim. Another reason I hate Atlanta
NewNeighbor January 30, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Im a new tenant in Skyhouse, 39 yo, and was a commuter from OTP for almost 5 years so I know the area very well. Sold our house and opted to walk to work instead (both my husband and I are within walking distance to our offices). We enjoy renting, love the view, the amentites, and I am sure my 20K a month income will contibute to supporting the restaurants, new businesses, and growth of Midtown. Change is good. The apartments are a good option to people not ready, or don't want to commit to condo ownership. The buidling is filling up quickly, and if I ever moved OTP, I would probably own again, but I'm happy to lease in midtown forever. Don't jump to conclusions as to who a "renter" would be. No matter what their background, new neighbors benefit everyone. BTW, having lived directly on Peachtree for about 6 months, I appreciate the slightly quieter W Peachtree. Still access to all the great stuff, without as much noise....for now!
A January 31, 2013 at 02:21 PM
Nice post, NewNeighbor. I live down the street at Plaza and am currently renting. I have to say I think Plaza is one of the best locations in Midtown and I dont know why people think being a few blocks over on Peachtree is better. I have easier access to the Connector and it is easy to shoot up W Peachtree to Buckhead. Steps away from MARTA makes commuting to the airport easy. I like Skyhouse's location. If you're into Crossfit check out Crossfit Midtown right there! Will be interesting to see how all of the apartments fair. With rental limits on condo buildings in Midtown and many people (like me) wanting to rent highrises in Midtown, I can see the need. I could see the apartments being converted to condos down the road.
CHANEL January 31, 2013 at 09:11 PM
GREAT!! The question is will renters be able to afford to pay $1000 a month for rent. When at that rate they could be paying a mortgage.
KamdenATL February 01, 2013 at 03:57 PM
For all the people arguing with "Dookie Doo", you realize you're arguing with a person that chose to hide behind the moniker "Dookie Doo" right? My wife & I rented in Midtown for 4 years at the Post Biltmore apartments, not because we couldn't afford to buy a condo, but because we weren't sure where our jobs were going to take us. We eventually ended up buying a condo on Peachtree Street - a few blocks away from our old apartment. We have been in our condo for nearly 5 years now, and our lifestyle has changed very little (aside from the addition of our now 2-year old son!). There are always going to be rotten eggs, whether it's renters or home owners. You can't just make a blanket statement and say all renters are bad for the neighborhood and all home owners are good. The fact that more people will be moving to Midtown and renting should be beneficial to those of us who own condos, because many of those renters will eventually end up deciding to buy (just like we did). Also, Midtown is attracting more than just successful 20-30 somethings. There are tons of empty nesters in their 50's and 60's that are either moving back into the city or purchasing second homes intown. My condo building is full of them.
FamilyOfFour February 01, 2013 at 06:12 PM
HEY!! We are excellent renters. I just went around yesterday and touched up all the moldings in our unit with paint. :( Our family used to own a home and we sold it for a 1/3 of what we paid for it. Now we live in a apartment so we have tons of extra money to spend in the city instead of paying a yard crew, gutter cleaner, house keepers, etc... Living in a high rise is better for the environment, my pocketbook and the cities! My whole building is filled with professionals, singles, new parents and full 30 somethings with families. Renters are not bad people. Bad people are bad people and have nothing to do if they rent or not. And YES my rent is higher than my old mortgage, but I save not having to pay for all the extra services.
FamilyOfFour February 01, 2013 at 06:22 PM
oh, and if your mortgage is only $1,000 per month and you think you are going to save money owning a home....... you have never owned a home! I have owned and lived in 5! They are money pits! Just talk to a basic financial advisor and have them project your spending over the terms of your 30 year loan. That home will need to be renovated the day you move in, again in 15 years and then a third time right before you sell it. NOW after 30 years add up every can of paint, appliance, roof, termite bond, HOA, 2-3 HVAC units, yard work, not to mention your time and THEN see how much money you actually make. You wont! You would just die to see how much money a $300K home in the subburbs takes to maintain. (over a million in 30 years) Your not selling that house for a million are ya?!?!?! And NO real estate agent or mortgage lender is going to tell you that. They dont make money if you rent. Talk to someone who doesn't make money on what your decision is. Renting is the way to go.
Chris H February 02, 2013 at 09:30 PM
For all the people that think these new apartments will be empty; after less than a month being open, Skyhouse is 42% full. A commenter on skyscraperpage Atlanta construction board put together this spreadsheet showing which units have been rented and the price. The data was gathered from Skyhouses webpage. http://i916.photobucket.com/albums/ad1/jsimms3/SkyHouseMidtownCurrentLeasingActivity2-1-13_zps5f560897.jpg
JM Hurricane February 02, 2013 at 09:57 PM
Thanks for the chart. Interesting note, all the studios are basically gone. People WANT to move to Midtown but for as low as possible. Smart move for the renter, actually.
Ms. February 03, 2013 at 05:04 PM
I have a friend who just moved into Skyhouse because it's close to his job. Incredibly nice place, gorgeous cabinets, granite counters, it doesn't look like a rental, and it's a place a person could actually be proud to say they rent.
Ms. February 03, 2013 at 05:15 PM
Thanks for mentioning this. It seems many people just look at what it costs (actual rent v. mortgage) in that one monthly payment number, and decide it's a better investment to own. There's so much more to it than that. I had a friend that just bought her dream home and 6 months later, had an urgent and necessary plumbing project that cost 6k, or in the case of my parents, their furnace went out just a couple of weeks ago, 8k, and the house isn't really that big. These types of repairs or just the regular upkeep and maintenance, can really cause a financial mess. People have been brainwashed to believe that ownership is the end all, be all. It's nice to see people waking up from this myth. Btw, in response to the suggestion that renters are "bad" for a neighborhood... Most are working professionals who spend their money in the shops and stores, volunteer, and contribute to the neighborhood just the same as owners.
Southern Girl March 24, 2013 at 12:29 AM
I agree. There are a lot of retirees in Midtown. I meet them weekly, when our "kids" aka dogs, decide to stop and sniff each other, lol. I somehow find myself in deep conversation with them, and many of them have huge luxurious estates in another city, but also have a condo in Atlanta. I usually find that they are from other southern states and to them Atlanta is as big city as they want to get.

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