A panel of experts included John A. Heagy III, senior managing director of Hines, Christine Parks, vice president of private banking at Morgan Stanley Private Bank and David Oliver, senior vice president of communications/marketing at the Georgia Bankers Association.
Event moderator, James Holmes, senior vice president for the DeKalb/Perimeter area of commercial banking for BB&T, first asked the panel about the current state of the banking industry.
“What we see a lot statewide … it has stabilized,” said Oliver. “More state banks are profitable and we attribute that to the recovery of the economy, although it has been sluggish — customers are paying their bank loans.”
Parks added private banking groups have grown and touted that in 2012, Morgan Stanley did $28 billion in new lending transactions, and is projecting to do $39 billion in 2013.
Speaking specifically on the Perimeter sub-market, Heagy said the area has come into its own within the last 12 to 18 months.
“We have had meaningful corporations move [into the area],” he said.
“The technology industry is incredibly gratifying — the unemployment rate in the technology industry is zero.”
Heagy mentioned one of the large employers to come aboard in the Perimeter market as State Farm, and mentioned banks are being helpful.
“While capital is available, underwriting is extremely challenging and that’s a good thing,” said Heagy.
On real estate and attracting employers to the area, Heagy commented that within the next five years, 40 percent of the workforce will be coming from the millennial generation.
“They are much younger and want connectivity — they are not interested in owning a car or house,” he said.
“Dunwoody and Sandy Springs are wonderful cities that are very well connected.”
Oliver added the housing market is a source of strength, with real estate still being an attractive market for the area.