The president of the Atlanta Board of Commercial Realtors told Buckhead business operators that the metro area’s markets for office and industrial space appear to be bouncing back after the recession.

“I think it’s coming back. We may not be hitting home runs, but I think he’ll hit a lot of doubles and singles and maybe a triple,” Dave Watson, Senior Managing Director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, told members of the Buckhead Business Association on April 18.

Dave Watson, 2013 president of the Atlanta Commerical Realtors Board, speaks to the Buckhead Business Association on April 18.

Atlanta’s office market offers 130 million square feet of space, he said. “Charlotte’s entire office space market is about the size of our Perimeter office market,” he said. “We’re quite a bit bigger than some of our competitive cities,” he said.

After years of inactivity, business owners now seemed to be considering expansions, he said. “It’s not as robust as I would like, but it’s been solid and substantial and I don’t see it going further down,” he said. “The good news is that what I call the moms and pops, the small guys, are looking like they’re back looking for office space.”

Watson also said he was working on a campaign to dress up expressway off ramps leading into metro Atlanta to improve visitors’ first impressions of the community. Other communities, such as Indianapolis, have done similar cleanups, he said. “I want to have Atlanta be a showplace,” he said.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.