Thomas Wheatley, Atlanta Magazine
On a warm spring day just over three years ago, Olaf Kunkat stood at the corner of Mitchell and Forsyth streets in South Downtown. In all directions, he saw barren streets, vacant storefronts, and half-empty parking lots where buildings once stood. “It was all beauty,” he says.
Newport is backed by six German families who, Kunkat says, are patient. “We have no exit strategy,” he says. Typically, investors want a return on investment in five years, and principals sell, leaving maintenance costs to someone else. Kunkat says Newport won’t think about selling a single building for 10 to 15 years—and because the company is building a mix of uses and controls so much of its neighborhood, he argues, it can more easily withstand recessions. “If we do good here, it will change,” he says.
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