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Loehmannn’s Plaza to be Redeveloped and Renamed

30 Jun 2014, 3:26 am

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Loehmann’s Plaza gets a facelift and a new name soon with site works beginning in June and continuing through January 2015. The redeveloped retail facility at the corner of North Druid Hills and Briarcliff Roads in Atlanta will be called Brighten Park. Regency Centers Corporation will redevelop the property and has already secured a lease with The Fresh Market grocery.

Regency Centers Corporation is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust that has over 20 years of background as an operator and developer of grocery-anchored community shopping centers in the Atlanta market. With 332 retail properties nationwide, the company’s portfolio encompasses over 43.9 million square feet, including co-investment partnerships. The company has developed 215 shopping centers since the millennium, an investment of over $3 billion.

The project will implement a strategic redesign for the center and the upgrades are planned to align with its new beginning. According to a written announcement released recently by the developer, the new name was also chosen to reflect the evolving face of the neighborhood center with the goal to “unite healthy and fresh, with sustainable and modern.”

The aesthetic improvements include an updated façade, new signage and innovative LED lighting for lower consumption as well as better visibility.

Anchored by The Fresh Market, around 24,000 square feet will be occupied by the grocery store. Further tenants will include Panera Bread, Starbucks and Zoe’s Kitchen. The surrounding community has a population of over 140,000 and also includes Emory University.

Photo credits: Regency Centers Corporation

Two Norcross Communities Get $22M Bridge Loan for Renovations

20 Jun 2014, 5:04 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Centre at Peachtree Corners and Summit at Dawson obtained a $22 million bridge loan that will facilitate the exterior and interior renovation, as well as the reposition of the two residential properties into affordable Class A assets. Pembrook Capital Management LLC closed the transaction on behalf of the borrowers, Five Mile Capital’s joint venture with Audubon Communities.

Founded in 2006 by Stuart J. Boesky, Pembrook is a commercial real estate investment manager that provides financing throughout the capital structure including first mortgages, mezzanine, bridge loans, note financings, and preferred equity across the United States for most commercial real estate property categories, including multifamily, office, retail and industrial. Since 2006, the company has originated or participated in over 65 investments totaling in excess of $700 million.

Located in Norcross in Atlanta’s northern submarket, Centre at Peachtree Corners was built in 1972, whereas Summit at Dawson was constructed in 1983. The communities include 434 units combined. Located at 1500 Holcomb Bridge Road, roughly 10 miles northeast of downtown, the former is a 272-unit multifamily property. The latter features 162 units at 1400 Chase Lane, also in Norcross. Both offer a range of community amenities including resort-style swimming pool, outdoor cooking area, clubhouse and fitness center.

According to Pembrook, the business plan for the properties is to finish the remaining capital improvements and lease up the units. Both communities will get new roofs, siding, windows and exterior doors. Further exterior renovations are also due to happen, such as the improvement of the existing wood railings and stairways. Interior upgrades include new kitchens, new bathrooms, new appliance package and new mechanicals. The common areas also await renewal.

Image of Centre at Peachtree Corner home, courtesy of Centre at Peachtree Corner



Wheeler Takes Ownership of Freeway Junction

13 Jun 2014, 6:03 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Freeway Junction will change hands in the near future as Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust Inc. announced that it has assumed the contract to acquire the shopping center for $10.5 million, or $66.63 per leasable square foot.

Led by Jon S. Wheeler, the Virginia Beach-based firm is focused on owning, acquiring, financing, developing, renovating, leasing and managing income producing assets, such as community centers, neighborhood centers, strip centers and free-standing retail properties. Wheeler is represented by its broad portfolio in an area stretching from the Northeast through the Mid-Atlantic and the Southeast United States and is also present in the Southwest region. The company, according to a recent news release, intends to use a combination of cash and debt to pay for Freeway Junction and will assume the contract from its affiliate, Wheeler Interests LLC.

Built in 1987, Freeway Junction is a 156,834 square-foot retail facility that was renovated in 2005. According to a press release, the center is 95.5 percent leased and counts four anchor tenants that occupy 70 percent of the leasable surfaces, along with several other nationally and regionally known tenants renting the remaining space. The shopping center is located in Stockbridge, Henry County, a part of the Atlanta metropolitan area with a population close to 26,000. At just 16 miles southeast of Atlanta, the property is situated on Highway 138, which has an average daily traffic of over 47,000 vehicles. The location is easily accessible from Interstate 75 through I-675, an auxiliary interstate highway traveling through the southeast part of Atlanta Metro.

Photo credits: Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust  

Five Buildings Managed by Cushman & Wakefield in Atlanta’s Buckhead Receive LEED Certification

7 Jun 2014, 12:34 am

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Located in the Buckhead submarket of Atlanta at 3575 Piedmont Road NE, Piedmont Center North Buildings 1-4 and 15 have earned LEED certification under the USGBC’s Existing Buildings: Operation and Maintenance standard, according to the property manager Cushman & Wakefield’s recent announcement.

The U.S. Green Building Council awarded Building 15 with LEED Silver certification, and Buildings 1-4 have been LEED Certified. The owner, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. entrusted C&W and engineering consultant Servidyne with the project. The sustainability practices implemented by the teams include a variety of energy- and water-efficiency, waste-reduction, green-cleaning and pest-management measures. Water efficiency efforts are expected to reduce consumption by 1.4 million gallons every year.

The improvements contributing to the LEED certifications of all five buildings include the implementation of eco-friendly landscaping and integrated pest management, installation of low-flow water restrictors on all faucets, and non-sewer water meters for irrigation. Sewage system expenses are eliminated while water irrigation costs are lowered by two-thirds.

Additionally, lighting in the 344,546-square-foot Building 15 and in the elevator cabs are changed to LED fixtures. The smoking area is relocated to an area more suitable for both smoking and non-smoking tenants. Ventilation systems in Buildings 1-4, which total 530,772-square feet, are modified, and the buildings are equipped with water-efficient 0.5 gallon and 1.25 gallon bathroom fixtures at a cost of $105,000. The expenditure is expected to return the investment in less than three years without passing any costs to tenants.

Photo credits: Northwestern Mutual Financial Services

Resource Real Estate-Sponsored REIT Acquires Two Atlanta Communities

31 May 2014, 6:07 am

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Resource Real Estate recently announced that one of its investment trusts, Resource Real Estate Opportunity REIT Inc., has picked up two residential properties. Both Berkeley Run and Berkeley Trace are located in the residential submarket along Glenridge Drive Northeast in Atlanta, less than a mile from Atlanta’s Perimeter Center.

Headquartered in Philadelphia,  Resource Real Estate is involved in direct real estate investments, commercial real estate lending and global real estate securities and operates offices in New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Houston, London, Singapore and Sydney. The firm’s portfolio of owned and managed real estate assets is valued over $2.6 billion.

The communities are situated less than half a mile from each other in a neighborhood that offers convenient access to Perimeter Mall and one of Atlanta’s largest business districts comprising 29 million square feet of office space. Resource Real Estate Opportunity REIT acquired them for a combined price of $51.8 million and plans to invest extra capital in improving the properties. The common areas and individual units await upgrades, and the exteriors will undergo a renewal process as well. A property management team will also be assigned.

The 194-unit Berkeley Run offers a selection of apartments with one to three bedrooms plus a fitness center and a business center. The 14.5 acre property also includes individual garages, a salt water swimming pool, a tennis court and a clubhouse. Berkeley Trace is a 165-unit, 5.5 acre gated community with one and two bedroom apartments featuring private balconies, a business center, housekeeping service, a clubhouse, and a modern fitness center.

Photo credits: Google Maps

Hyatt House Atlanta/Cobb Galleria is LEED Certified

23 May 2014, 3:26 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Hyatt House Atlanta/Cobb Galleria in Atlanta’s northwest corridor received LEED certification according to Noble Investment Group and Hyatt Hotels and Resorts.

Hyatt House is a Hyatt Hotels Corporation brand present in more than 50 U.S. locations. The 149 units the Atlanta facility offers consist of studios and suites with one- or two-bedroom layouts. The larger units include an extra living space, walk-in showers in the bathrooms and kitchens equipped with a full arsenal of appliances. The hotel features around 2,000 square feet of high-tech flexible meeting space, a 24-hour workout room, an indoor pool, two outdoor patios with fireplaces and grilling stations and a Hyatt branded non-stop grocery store. Located at the intersection of Interstate 75 and Interstate 285, the property is close to a number of major business destinations such as the Atlanta offices for IBM, Manhattan Associates, General Electric, SITA, Lockheed Martin and the global HQ for Home Depot. Cobb Galleria Centre, One Overton Park and Life University are in the area as well, with the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre also located within walking distance from the hotel.

The extended stay facility, opened just over a year ago, earned its LEED distinction due to an array of environmentally friendly features such as the all-around LED lighting system, low consumption HVAC units, motion-activated thermostats in all suites and highly efficient water fixtures. The landscaped outdoor space reduces overall environmental impact, which was also taken into consideration.

Photo credits: Hyatt Hotels Corporation


Pointe at Lenox Park Picked Up for Almost $25M

16 May 2014, 5:17 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Pointe at Lenox Park, a 271-unit garden-style community in the Brookhaven submarket recently changed hands for $24.9 million. The previous local private owner sold the apartment homes to Cortland Partners.

Concentrating mainly on value-add acquisitions and development opportunities, Cortland Partners is an apartment owner and manager with a growing portfolio in the Southeast and Texas. The firm’s platform includes investment management, property management, and construction services and in the past few years  since the beginning of the recession its owned and managed residential portfolio has grown to around 19,000 units in the area.  

The company’s CEO, Steven DeFrancis is optimistic about the community’s strong performance in the future, especially considering the current state of the market.

“The city’s job growth and the restrained amount of new construction in the area are strong indications that the multifamily sector in Atlanta will continue to strengthen in the months and years ahead,” he says.

Located at 1900 North Druid Hills Road, the rental complex was built in 1988. The community features one- and two-bedroom apartment homes. Tenants can choose from 602- or 800 square-foot one-bedroom floor plans and the two-bedroom units measure 1000 square feet and come with an extra bathroom. Common-area amenities include a business center, a clubhouse and a fitness facility. Apartments are equipped with wood-burning fireplaces, intrusion alarms, wood flooring, granite countertops and include large closets as well as private balconies. The new owner intends to perform a general renovation on all units and update some of the community features as well.

Photo credits: Pointe at Lenox Park

Atlantic Station Gets More EV Charging Units

9 May 2014, 9:54 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Electric car driving tenants, employees and visitors of the Atlantic Station mixed-use community in Atlanta can breath a sigh of relief knowing they will never again have to leave the complex with a dying battery.  According to a recent announcement, four new Level 2 electric-vehicle charging units have been put in operation in the underground parking garage on P1, near the valet station.

Inaugurated in in 2005, Atlantic Station is a sustainable mixed-use development built on Atlantic Steel Company’s abandoned mill site that today is a thriving district in Atlanta’s Midtown neighborhood. Anchor tenants of the community include employers such as Wells Fargo, Ogilvy & Mather and BB&T, retailers like H&M and Dillard’s along with a number of popular restaurants.

CBRE Global Investors, the owner of the property, had previously started investing in a stable infrastructure of car chargers at Atlantic Station.  The development has a street-level charging station on 17th Street near the Millennium Gate offering four Level 2 units and one DC fast-charger unit. That one is partially powered by overhead solar panels and is available at no cost to the public. The new chargers, partially funded by Nissan, offer a charging rate that gives a car around 25 miles of driving range over a one-hour charging interval and cost of 85 cents per hour for the public.

John Gilb, principal at CBRE Global Investors is proud that the community is moving toward more environmentally friendly transportation and believes that Atlantic Station is setting an example.

“Our EV charging stations are convenient not only for our visitors, but to the Midtown community as a whole,” he says.

Photo credits: ChargePoint

International Tech Group Subsidiary Consolidates Operations at 5405 Windward Parkway

25 Apr 2014, 5:42 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Andritz Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of the Andritz Group, is moving to 5405 Windward Parkway. The company recently signed a long-term lease for 40,000 square feet. To  landlord Highwoods Properties Inc.’s relief the building has reached almost complete occupancy.

Headquartered in Graz, Austria, Andritz Group is a globally leading supplier of plants, equipment, and services for hydropower stations, the pulp and paper industry, the metalworking and steel industries, and solid/liquid separation in the municipal and industrial sectors. The publicly listed group has a staff of around 23,700 employees and operates over 250 production sites as well as service and sales companies all around the world. It ranks among the global market leaders in all four of its business areas.

Ed Fritsch, President and CEO of Highwoods is grateful for Andritz’s choice and also expressed his pride in the company’s local agents.

“We thank Andritz for choosing Highwoods and we applaud our Atlanta team for their rapid success in backfilling this building with two high-quality customers who are new to Highwoods,” he says.

Built in 1997, the 240,000 square-foot building boasts prime Alpharetta location in Metro Atlanta’s North Fulton submarket with easy access to the interchange of GA 400 and Windward Parkway. The property’s lineup of amenities includes a number of green features such as bike storage, easy access to public transit, high efficiency lighting fixtures, low water irrigation system and a clever energy management system.  With this transaction, the company has relet 97 percent of the 223,000 square feet vacated in last October.

Photo credits: Highwoods Properties 

Berkley Specialty Underwriting Managers Consolidates Operations at Ravinia

18 Apr 2014, 4:28 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Berkley Specialty Underwriting Managers has recently signed a long-term office space lease in Atlanta’s Central Perimeter submarket at Two Ravinia Drive. The property is part of the 42-acre Ravinia complex which consists of three Class A towers and a 500-room Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Berkley Specialty Underwriting Managers is a specialty underwriting organization, a subsidiary of Fortune 500 financial services company W. R. Berkley Corp. The company provides a portfolio of commercial property casualty insurance products to the entertainment, sports and environmental industries. It offers proprietary coverage for these specialty industries, along with automobile liability, workers’ compensation and claim services.

Cassidy Turley brokered the lease of the 23,025 square feet of office space in the 17-story tower located at the Northeast Corner of Ashford-Dunwoody Road and Interstate 285, with Dale Lewis of Cassidy Turley’s Atlanta office representing the tenant in the lease transaction. Jeff Bellamy and Amanda Smith of Jones Lange LaSalle spoke for the property owner, Parkway Properties.

The tenant already occupies 7,184 square feet at Two Ravinia and also operates on 16,403 square feet at Three Ravinia. Additionally, in compliance with the new contract the company will expand to the entire 11th floor of the former and the lease also gives Berkley Specialty the right of first refusal to expand into 7,000 square feet on the 10th floor adjacent to another W. R. Berkley entity, Vela Insurance Company. The lease commences December 1, 2014.

Photo credits: Parkway Properties

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