Published On: June 25th, 2024Categories: News

Newell Brands’ shift to new offices in Sandy Springs is part of a recent uptick in office leasing

Zacharay Hansen / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution | June 19, 2024

A Fortune 500 company recently signed one of metro Atlanta’s largest leases of the year, moving its headquarters a few miles to one of the region’s most recognizable towers.

Newell Brands signed an 180,000-square-foot lease at the Queen building in Sandy Springs, the largest lease signed in Atlanta’s Central Perimeter submarket since 2018, according to real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield. Newell, which owns consumer goods brands including Rubbermaid and Sharpie, will leave its corporate home at 6655 Peachtree Dunwoody Road as part of the relocation.

A Newell spokesperson said the company chose to remain in Sandy Springs “due to the area’s amenities and accessibility for employees,” adding the new headquarters is a 20% expansion compared to its current offices. The relocation is expected to take place by mid-2025.

The Newell lease adds to a growing list of large office signings that have taken place so far in 2024. Vacancy and available office space remain near record highs and there’s likely pain still to come for office landlords, but metro Atlanta’s office market appears to be is gaining steam after several tepid years spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Building & Land Technology, the developer and landlord of the King and Queen buildings and the surrounding Concourse mixed-use campus, said it has signed more than 361,000 square feet of renewal and expansion leases during the past year at the iconic towers. Other transactions at the buildings include leases with NICE Systems, IMA Financial Group, Snellings Walters and Atlanticus.

Identified by their glassy structures and crown-shaped rooftop features, the King and Queen combine for nearly 1.4 million square feet of office space in metro Atlanta’s largest corporate submarket. At the end of March, nearly 36% of all office square footage in Central Perimeter was available for rent, according to real estate services firm CBRE.

The Newell lease brings the Queen building’s occupancy to 92%, according to Cushman & Wakefield, which brokered the property’s recent lease transactions. The King building’s occupancy was not disclosed, but it is less than its sister tower with active listings for its two penthouse floors and an 140,000-square-foot contiguous block of available space.

From 2020 to 2023, there were very few sizable office leases signed in metro Atlanta as companies grappled with pandemic lockdowns, hybrid work schedules and wooing employees back to a physical office. Newell’s lease is the sixth lease signing of 2024 that was larger than 100,000 square feet, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

Last week, the gas division of Southern Company announced a 264,300-square-foot lease signing at Midtown Center II, the largest office lease penned so far this year. Cushman & Wakefield analysts credit the lease signings, in part, to an uptick in return-to-office mandates by large employers. Atlanta-based UPS and NCR Voyix both announced strict in-person office policies earlier this year.

Agricultural giant Cargill, meanwhile, is negotiating for space in the city of Atlanta for a tech hub announced Tuesday. Still, many landlords could face financial trouble in the months and years ahead as loans come due, bank standards remain tight, interest rates remain high and property values remain soft because of high vacancies.

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