Tucker is undoubtedly one of the fastest-rising business destinations in the Metro Atlanta area. Each month, the Business Boom will seek to show different examples of how Tucker’s business scene is flourishing.
Since the City of Tucker came into existence in 2016, we have experienced a dynamic and protracted business expansion. With Tucker’s enviable location at the edge of the metro region and easy access to the Perimeter and 78, the City continues to experience business growth amongst its diverse range of retail and industrial businesses. The City boasts a broad range of housing options within its 20 square miles and continues to attract new residents with a current population of 35,000.
Aside from location, I’d like to highlight four key components that are driving Tucker’s business boom.
Downtown Tucker – with its mix of restaurants, stores and the popular Farmers Market – has seen a resurgence of activity with the opening of new offices and eateries. For the owners of Village Burger, locating in Tucker was an easy decision.
“Village Burger wants to be a restaurant where the people of a community come to see their friends and neighbors and enjoy a great meal,” shared Ricardo Gonzalez, one of the owners. “As Downtown Tucker continues to revitalize, locating in the heart of the City fits our business model perfectly. We just passed our one-year anniversary and we are thrilled with the community support.”
In addition, the City and the Tucker-Northlake Community Improvement District (CID) have contracted with a consultant to develop a blueprint for the future growth of the downtown with a combination of retail, restaurants and mixed-use developments. This Downtown Master Plan will be complete in late spring and will look at aspects of downtown that you might not have thought about: parking facilities, smart usage of alleyways and connectivity to the City’s soon-to-be burgeoning PATH system.
The City has a great partnership with its business community and works collaboratively with two major business groups, the Tucker-Northlake CID and the Tucker Summit CID. One of the aspects these business groups enjoy most about being in the City of Tucker is the seamless permitting process, which actually saves their member businesses money.
“I hear from business owners regularly who are pleased with the responsiveness and quick turnaround times provided by City staff,” says Tucker-Northlake CID Executive Director Matthew Lee. “The City of Tucker has been the best thing to happen to the Tucker-Northlake CID since we organized.”
In the Tucker Summit CID, there are many industrial properties that are now being retrofitted for biotech. Eurofins, a Belgian joint venture with Emory University, opened a 40,000 square foot laboratory facility in Tucker. According to Tucker Summit CID Executive Director Emory Morsberger, it was the City’s excellent transportation network and proximity to nearby universities that sealed the deal.
Strong Industrial Sector
In 2018, the City saw the building of a 200,000 square foot flex warehouse space off of Mountain Industrial Boulevard, as well as the nearby rezoning of a property for another equally large industrial building.
“The Stone Mountain industrial submarket, which encompasses nearly 26 million square feet, is experiencing strong fundamentals,” said Brett Buckner, Ackerman & Co. senior vice president. “Vacancy rates now stand at 5.3 percent and current absorption, at 608,442 square feet, is on track to surpass last year’s numbers.”
Brett Irwin is a long-term owner of multi-tenant industrial buildings in the Tucker area. He says the partnership between the City and the CID are critical.
“The building of a symbiotic relationship between the City of Tucker and Tucker Summit CID is attracting new employers with higher-paying jobs who desire to locate in the area,” Irwin explains. “With occupancy at close to 95 percent for the largest property owners and the ability to get higher rates, the increased economics of the area will provide for better parks, schools and safety.”
The Northlake area continues to grow as a regional commercial center with its wide mix of office and retail opportunities and excellent access to the Perimeter. The Tucker Meridian shopping center, which includes Dick’s Sporting Goods, DSW, Sprouts, Newk’s and many other well-known names, is almost fully leased and a 90-unit senior housing center will open across Northlake Parkway in March.
Bob Smith of Beneficial Communities chose Tucker for the $15 million senior development. After weighing all the factors related to a development of this scale, he says the decision to locate in Tucker was easy.
“The Tucker-Northlake area is already a ‘lifelong community’ destination for seniors and we wanted to add to that reality,” Smith explains. “The vast quantity and quality of local amenities, the general walkability of the area and the proximity to world-class healthcare were all contributing factors to answer the question: ‘Why Tucker?’