Northeast of Atlanta’s central business districts, you’ll find Decatur — a progressive city known as the “Brooklyn of the South.” Characterized by a seamless blend of old and new that pairs historic brick homes with quirky bars and eateries, Decatur is a desirable area for young professionals. Not to mention, the creative job market in Decatur is thriving. Decatur’s downtown area experienced a mixed-use boom in the past decade, and Class B office space is on the rise. Located close to the highway, Decatur is an affordable option for up-and-coming companies who are in it for the long haul.
Decatur Office Space | Lease Data & Trends
Asking rents for office space in Decatur averages around $22 per square foot. For Class A properties, office spaces rent for closer to $28 per square foot. The substantially cheaper rate, compared to Downtown Atlanta, creates an advantage for companies who are eager to invest resources in more than just rent for trendy office digs.
Compared to other office space in Atlanta’s Northeast metropolitan area, Decatur’s properties are the most desirable. Neighboring Northeast district, Northlake/Stone Mountain, has a 21.5% vacancy rate for commercial properties, whereas Decatur’s vacancy is half that, at 10.4%. It’s worth noting, too, that Decatur’s vacancy rate is lower than Atlanta’s Central Business District. The combination of Decatur’s affordable rent prices, as well as its reputation for being a city within itself, makes this Atlanta suburb a coveted location for many commercial tenants.
What Our Brokers Say About Decatur Office Space
What kind of companies are investing in Decatur’s commercial real estate? Government, education, and healthcare are the main employers in Decatur, and major commercial tenants in the area include DeKalb County Government, Emory University Health Systems, Dekalb Medical Center, and McCurdy Candler.
Despite the area’s wealth of traditional jobs, creative industries are also thriving in Decatur. Revered creative companies, like commercial video production group Trove Studios, and software company Utility Associates are both based in Decatur.
Although Decatur only measures at four square miles, the town offers a density of talent. Within the city limits, you’ll find Agnes Scott College and Columbia Theological Seminary. Together, with nearby DeVry University and Branches of the Art Institute, Decatur has a strong talent pool that is attracting many companies to the area – particularly companies in the fintech industry.
Recently, fintech firm HiddenLevers announced its decision to move its headquarters from New York City to Decatur. While HiddenLevers is still a relatively small financial risk technology firm, its shift to the South signals that Atlanta is a hotspot for tech companies on the rise. HiddenLevers’ office in Decatur is located at 115 N. McDonough St, situated between Downtown Decatur and Agnes Scott College. This ideal location is likely to be eyed by other commercial tenants, as the area is ready to welcome an influx of up-and-coming companies.
Getting Around Decatur, GA
While Decatur is a suburb of Atlanta, transportation by car isn’t the only way locals get around this city. Located a mere six miles east of Atlanta’s Downtown area, it’s easy for commuters to take MARTA to Decatur via the Blue Line. Decatur has three convenient MARTA stations (Avondale, Decatur, and East Lake) for commuters within its city limits.
If you do prefer to travel around Decatur by car, US Interstates 78 and 278 provide quick and direct access to the heart of the city. State Route 155 also provides commuters with an easy path in and out of Decatur.
The recently completed Stone Mountain Trail also makes biking an option for commuters. The 19 mile path spans from Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park through Downtown Atlanta into central Decatur. The scenic parkways is an ideal commute path for those looking to take advantage of all the lush greenery surrounding Atlanta.
Get to Know the Neighborhood | Decatur, GA
Founded in 1823, Decatur has a long history. Originally established at the intersection of two prominent Native American Trails, the Sandtown and the Shallowford, Decatur became a central hub for trade. Later in the nineteenth century, Decatur served as a foundational site for Union General William Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign during the Civil War.
In recent years, Decatur has witnessed a sharp incline of growth. Due to its proximity to Atlanta’s Downtown area, Decatur has flourished as a mixed-use district that pairs small town charm with big city amenities. Decatur is known for its thriving food scene, as locals flock to establishments like Revival (a recent James Beard Award finalist), Cakes & Ales Restaurant (which has been selected more than once as one of the best new restaurants in the nation), and the Kimbell House (a renovated depot turned foodie hotspot). As a city with so many eateries with high accolades, it’s easy to see why people are comfortable establishing lives and businesses in Decatur.
Complimentary to Decatur’s bustling food scene, the city’s beer market is equally noteworthy. Decatur’s Brick Store Pub is a popular choice, as Beer Advocate recognized the bar as one of the best beer bars in the nation. Breweries and distilleries are gaining traction too, as spots like Independent Distilling Co., Blue Tarp Brewing Co., and 3 Taverns Brewery are all well worth a visit.
And if you’re searching for something more than a hearty bar scene, know that Decatur is a historical mecca. Many of the city’s main structures are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the South Candler Street/Agnes Scott College Historic District, the Cora Beck Hampton Schoolhouse, and Winnona Park Historic District.