Dave Smith, 1071 Howell Mill Road

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Located in West Midtown, 1071 Howell Mill Road is one of Atlanta’s prime redevelopment sites.  Despite the fact that the city has been mired in what some might call a development funk, West Midtown’s emergence as a go-to neighborhood has been a beacon of light in an otherwise stormy climate.  1071 Howell Mill is at the heart of it, and the man charged with marketing the one acre site- commercial real estate pro Dave Smith– has some opinions on Grant Park, Kasim Reed and Kevin Rathbun Steak to share…

Q. Favorite neighborhoods?

A. Have to go with Grant Park for sure….we live there, we play there and we have young children with tons of friends whose parents are our friends so we basically do not leave the hood much.  Also, Neighborhood Charter School is a great intown school with fabulous teachers and staff.  Midtown West is very a very close second because I spend the other half of my life at 10th and Howell Mill at Joel and Granot Commercial Real Estate…so we lunch here, we entertain clients here and we do a lot of deals here…

Q. Atlantic Station, Streets of Buckhead, the GM plant in Doraville and Underground Atlanta.  Ten years from now, which will show the most promise?

A. I would say The Streets of Buckhead mostly because I believe the Falcons will stay Downtown in a new stadium and I do not see a regional draw in the Doraville project.  The Streets will be a major regional draw for Buckhead and I think that is the difference in the projects.

Q. One last meal in Atlanta: Where are you going, and what are you eating?

A. How about one last day of meals……Breakfast – Thumbs Up Westside, Lunch – Pho # 1 Buford Highway, Dinner (I don’t like this game your playing here…so many to choose from) – Rathbun Steak (wifey and I love it)….For the kiddies – Six Feet Grant Park.

Q. In the face of a real estate catastrophe, West Midtown seems to be doing better than any other neighborhood in Atlanta. What makes it special?

A. Obviously there was a synergy happening during the downturn on the Westside….starting with the early restaurant pioneers and showroom and retail users who believed that if you provided a quality product folks will seek you out i.e. Bacchanalia, Forsyth Fabrics, Sid Mashburn, Figo, Flip Burger, West Egg, Chow Baby, Six Feet, now you have the new guys……Bocado, Miller Union, Ormsby’s, Yeah Burger, Five Seasons, Sprout, etc.  Then you add the 1,500 to 1,800 new residential units that came on line since 2007, 2008 and you have a synergy that made this a destination in Atlanta.

Q. Mayor for the day: what’s on your agenda?

A. Aggressive Panhandling, particularly the folks on the side of the road running up to cars and creating a safety issue in my opinion.  Some of these folks are very aggressive in how they approach a vehicle and I can see where that would cause some concern.  You have this on a good portion of the highway exits into Downtown Atlanta and the surrounding areas.  This is not what we want to project to out-of-towners and this is not something that the people of Atlanta should have to deal with.  We have made strides in the Downtown area regarding panhandling but this side of the road panhandling is something that I would tackle if I were Mayor.  By the way, Kasim Reed is doing a fine job for the city.

BONUS QUESTION: What is 1071 Howell Mill Road, and why would it be brilliant for an investor/developer/end user to purchase it?

A. 1071 is a 1 acre (formerly Sunlow Mass Marketing) redevelopment site between 10th Street and 14th street on Howell Mill Road. The property is directly across the street from the White Provisions Development (Room and Board, Yeah Burger, Knoll) and has the potential to be an incredible retail location for a number of local and national retailers or office users.  We are planning a complete remodel and reconfiguration of the existing building to accommodate tenants in the 3,000 to 22,00 square foot range and also provide a restaurant space with an incredible roof top deck.  We are looking to sell or lease the property and the owner is well funded and very flexible…..Bring us a Deal!!!

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