Strength in apartments continues

In yet another sign of the growing momentum in Atlanta’s apartment market, work began Tuesday on a 355-unit complex at the Terminus development in Buckhead.

The $67 million Crescent Terminus project is the latest apartment complex to break ground here, as rising rents and the growing market of renters push developers to build more rental units.

“There’s a growing rent-by-choice community out there,” said Benjamin Collins, vice president of Crescent Resources’ southeast region. “They want the flexibility that renting offers them.”

The Atlanta area added 1,036 apartments in February, according to ALN Apartment Data. Average rents are up more than 3 percent over last February and occupancy rates are up to 90.4 percent.

Last fall, there were 2,661 apartment units under construction and nearly 6,000 more units proposed, according to data from Haddow & Co. The average monthly rent for intown properties was $1,362 as of Sept. 30, up 6.5 percent over the prior year.

Crescent Terminus apartments, set to be available beginning next spring, are likely to rent in the $1,000- to $3,000-per-month range, Collins said. They will range between 450 and 1,800 square feet.

As more apartments come on line, there may be some short-term softness in the market, Collins said. But he has high expectations for the strength of Atlanta’s apartment market in the long term. Construction on Crescent Howell Mill will begin in the second quarter and plans are underway for a third Crescent complex.

There are already condominiums at Terminus, though the 137 units, which became available in 2008, were slow to sell. These will be the first apartments available at the mixed-use center at Piedmont and Peachtree roads.