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Best in Real Estate: Post Centennial Park shows downtown primed for new apartments – Atlanta Business Chronicle

An apartment project that took 10 years to bring to life has met with perfect timing for its market — downtown Atlanta, which has lagged other areas of the city when it comes to new rental residential projects.

The $96 million Post Centennial Park, a major midrise upscale apartment project that represents the first significant development of new apartment units in the city’s central business district in at least 10 years, is the Residential Deal of the Year winner in Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Best in Atlanta Real Estate awards.

Post Centennial Park is located in the heart of downtown on a site adjacent to Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia Aquarium, and The World of Coca Cola. Ground was broken on the complex in early 2016 by Atlanta-based Post Properties Inc., which bought the land in 2006.

At the end of 2016, Post, with a 24,138-unit portfolio — including Post Centennial — merged with Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc. (NYSE: MAA), a Memphis, Tenn.-based, publicly traded real estate investment trust that focuses primarily on multifamily homes throughout the South.

As of the end of 2017, MAA owned or had ownership interest in 100,489 apartment homes nationwide. Including Post Centennial, the company owns and operates 30 communities totaling more than 11,400 units in metro Atlanta.

Following the Post Properties deal, MAA continued with the development of Post Centennial. It totals 438 units, comprised of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging in size from 478 square feet to 1,510 square feet.

The apartment market fundamentals in downtown Atlanta are “very healthy,” due to the area having the fewest new apartment deliveries during the current development cycle of any intown submarket, as of third quarter 2017, according to Chris Hall, senior vice president at the Haddow & Co. consulting firm. “Post Centennial Park will add much-needed rooftops downtown, contributing to the area’s growing momentum.”

Dave Stockert, former Post Properties CEO and now a director of MAA, said, “Downtown is on the rise, and there are so many good things happening. We thought our project could really add to that momentum and to the vibrancy of the downtown experience.”

Post Centennial rents are expected to average $1,620 per month, according to Matthew Smith, MAA senior vice president investments. Plans also call for 10 percent of the units to be designated workforce housing, with an average rent of $1,090 per month.

“Amenities are what is going to make Post Centennial Park so special,” Smith said.

Aimed at young professionals, the project will include a fitness center; a private dog walk area; and a rooftop array that includes a pool, in-water tanning deck, private cabanas, a lawn area, and an outdoor kitchen/dining area.

Another amenity, according to Smith, is adjacent Centennial Olympic Park. “From my experience, this demographic loves an urban park with lots of green space and outdoor events.”

In the current cycle, MAA has also undertaken Post Alexander, a 26-story Buckhead high-rise with 340 units that delivered in 2016; and Post Midtown, a 25-story, 332-unit high-rise that delivered in 2017 and is currently in lease-up.

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