ACKERMAN & CO

A BOLD APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENT

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Just two miles southwest of Downtown Atlanta is a sprawling collection of buildings formerly known as “Warehouse Row.”

Hop City beer & wine bar

In the 1950s and 1960s, the warehouse buildings were developed to serve as a distribution hub for area grocery stores. Today, the buildings have been transformed into something much different.

In the evening, the property is packed with visitors enjoying a night out at breweries, restaurants and bars. During the day, exercise enthusiasts bike and walk to the property from the adjacent Atlanta Westside BeltLine multimodal trail. Employees of high-tech companies and other businesses head to work at one of the development’s customized office/ production spaces, and guests visit service providers including a salon, a neighborhood dentist, a primary care provider and a chiropractic center.

This is Lee + White, a 440,000 SF adaptive reuse development. The 23- acre property in the West End neighborhood is co-owned by Ackerman & Co., a commercial real estate company with a successful track record dating back to 1967. When Ackerman partnered with co-investor MDH Partners to purchase the development in 2019, it marked the company’s first adaptive reuse project on such a large scale.

The Lee + White Food Hall features an eclectic mix of local and regional concepts

Firm Expands Development Focus

Ackerman is a well-known commercial real estate owner and developer in Atlanta and the Sunbelt. Distribution facilities have grown into the company’s core investment type due to the continued strong demand from users seeking efficiently designed, strategically located space. The company is also a major owner and developer of medical office and retail properties. But taking on a mixed-use project on this scale involving the redevelopment of multiple warehouse buildings was something new. “This is not a typical project for us, but it is representative of the company’s willingness to be bold and take risks based on our market knowledge and ability to choose the right project in the right location,” said Evan Ziegler, President of Investments for Ackerman & Co. “Lee + White was an opportunity for us to add value by diversifying the tenant mix with additional types of development.”

The “Great Lawn” is a central gathering and event space
ASW barrel house and whiskey tap room

Transforming a Property and Neighborhood

When Ackerman purchased Lee + White, the mixed-use property had already become a popular destination for the breweries and retailers that opened in the first phase of the project. In the next phase of the redevelopment, Ackerman’s goal was to create a larger variety of uses by adding Class A loft office space, a 19-vendor food hall, a container retail village and a central gathering space called the Great Lawn. This phase of the development has attracted high-tech innovators Carbice Inc. (a nanotechnology company) and JTEC Energy Inc. (a renewable energy provider) that have established headquarters and production operations in refurbished warehouse spaces. The iconic British motorcycle manufacturer Triumph Motorcycles is relocating its North American headquarters to Lee + White, incorporating offices, collaborative space and a showroom.

Tenants that have joined the lineup also include various healthcare and service providers, including a Grady Health System outpatient center, Beya Salon Studios, Ogle School (a cosmetology school), Westside Dental and A Chiropractic Hub.

These additions have established Lee + White as a hub for business in addition to an entertainment destination.

A key advantage of Lee + White is its access to the Atlanta BeltLine. The 22-mile loop of multimodal trails has spurred more than $8 billion in high-profile projects. A lot of that development has taken place in neighborhoods around the Eastside BeltLine, but Ackerman is one of many investors leading a big development surge on the west and south side of the city.

“The BeltLine changed the dynamics of Lee + White when the trail opened along the property in 2017,” said Leo Wiener, President of Ackerman Retail. “The BeltLine is an amenity that makes the property more appealing to all types of tenants and is a significant factor that has contributed to our leasing success.”

Photos by Paul Ward Photography

Lee + White’s positive impact was recognized when the project was named Atlanta’s Redevelopment of the Year in 2023 by CoStar for contributing to the revitalization of the West End neighborhood and continuing the evolution of the project.

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