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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Developer to convert vacant Downtown office tower into apartment complex

An aging 20-story commercial building that for years has sat vacant in Downtown may be turned into hundreds of apartments.

Since last summer, Paces Properties has tried to buy the 250 Piedmont building located between Baker Street and John Portman Blvd. The Atlanta-based firm finally completed the sale in late April, purchasing the property for a little more than $8 million.

For years, the 39-year-old building housed SunTrust Banks' offices until the banking company relocated. It nearly became home to the Georgia Department of Labor in 2011. But the proposed deal fell apart and the 362,000 square-foot facility remained empty in the city's tired central business district.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle's Douglas Sams and Amy Wenk have the details on the adaptive reuse project:

Paces Properties Inc., the same group behind a hip mixed-use project along the Atlanta Beltline called Krog Street Market, hopes their newest acquisition sparks a downtown residential resurgence.

The developer bought 250 Piedmont, paying just $8.1 million for the 20-story tower, according to Fulton County records. The transaction closed April 30.

Paces Properties plans to turn the vacant office building into an apartment tower with more than 300 units.

The 250 Piedmont Building is one of several major Downtown projects in the works that could boost the number of permanent residents and students living in the neighborhood. A few blocks away, the One12 Courtland tower is scheduled to open this fall and is expected to house hundreds of Georgia State University students. On a smaller scale, the Atlanta Daily World building on Auburn Avenue is being converted to include some living spaces.

As CL noted in this week's cover story, Downtown has an residential occupancy rate of more than 95 percent. With that kind of demand, it wouldn't be surprising to see more developers follow with similar projects in the coming years.

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