Incorporated in 1847, Atlanta owes its existence to the railroads. Located at the southern extremity of the Appalachian Mountains, Atlanta became the gateway through which most traffic had to pass between the southern Atlantic Seaboard and regions to the west. Today, Atlanta is a major business city, which boasts the country’s third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies; and home to the world headquarters of corporations such as The Coca-Cola Company, Turner Broadcasting, The Home Depot, AT&T Mobility, UPS, and Delta Air Lines. The city is also the primary transportation hub of the Southeastern United States (via highway, railroad and air), with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport being among the world’s busiest airports and providing Delta Air Lines with the world’s largest airline hub.
Atlanta consistently ranks as one of Fortune Magazine's Top 10 Best Cities for Business. Business environment and quality of life also consistently place Atlanta at the top of major U.S. metropolitan areas for working, living and playing. More than 75% of Fortune 1000 companies have business operations in the metropolitan area. Since 1990, more than 300 companies have relocated their U.S. or regional headquarters here.
According to the U.S. Census, the 28-county Atlanta region population ranks as the fastest-growing metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the nation. By 2020, the area is forecasted to be the sixth largest metro area in the country with a population of more than 7 million.
Considered a world-class business center, Atlanta’s office market totals more than 295 million square feet. The bulk of Atlanta’s office market centers along Peachtree Street, running from Downtown to Buckhead. More than 53 million square feet of space either exists or is under construction, proposed or planned in the submarkets that run along Atlanta’s prime address. In the last decade, businesses in Atlanta have absorbed, on average, more than 3 million square feet of office space annually. Downtown serves as home to more than 430 recognized Fortune 500 companies and 140,000 office workers employed in approximately 5,000 businesses – the highest concentration of businesses in the Metro Atlanta region.
With nearly 350 million total square feet of retail, Atlanta has a lot to offer avid shoppers, ranging from large, affordable stores to upscale options to local, creative boutiques. Countless regional malls, outlet malls, and high-end lifestyle centers are spread throughout the metro area and are easily accessible. In addition to the almost 5 million shoppers living in the metro area, Atlanta’s retail market benefits from its proximity to the major I-75, I-85 and I-20 highways and the world’s busiest airport, which make it easy for people in the surrounding areas and states to visit Atlanta for a shopping/dining/entertainment experience.
Atlanta is the largest industrial market in the Southeast with more than 639 million square feet of space. Over the past decade, companies have absorbed 11 million square feet of industrial space annually. Key industries in Atlanta include petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumber and mining. Major industrial areas include agricultural products, capital goods, telecommunications equipment, motor vehicle parts, office machines, electric power machinery and consumer goods. With three major interstate highways intersecting in Atlanta and an extraordinary concentration of rail systems, trucking companies, warehouse and distribution centers, Atlanta’s logistics infrastructure and capabilities are unrivalled. Over the past decade, the city’s industrial real estate sector has gained from the addition of more than 14,000 green jobs. With more than 43,000 green jobs in total, Atlanta ranks in the top-10 clean economies in the U.S.
The city is a center for services, business, higher education, information technology, and finance. Atlanta’s strengths include a diverse economy, strong in-migration and population growth (more than 1.1 million new residents from 2000-2008), and a business-friendly environment. These factors have made Atlanta very attractive to foreign investors. The 2,000-plus foreign-owned business facilities in Metro Atlanta make up more than 80% of all international facilities in Georgia. International companies employ more than 115,000 people in the region.
Launched in early 2010, Avison Young’s Atlanta office has grown to more than 60 employees with approximately 20 million square feet of property under management. Led by top professionals, the Atlanta brokerage has built a broad platform covering all industry sectors. Atlanta serves as the hub of Avison Young’s Southeast expansion, partnering with many of the company’s other U.S. offices on several projects. Avison Young’s Atlanta-based Southeast Capital Markets Group also works frequently with the firm’s Canadian offices, particularly Toronto and Vancouver, to assist Canadian investors with cross-border investments in commercial and multi-residential property located in the Southeastern and Sunbelt markets.