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101 Marietta Revs Up Leasing Engine

After $5 Million Renovation, Downtown Atlanta Office Tower Lands New Tenants, Extends Others
January 29, 2018
Much like its resurgent hometown of Atlanta, 101 Marietta St. is rising again.

The office tower's owner, an affiliate of Durham, N.C.-based Dilweg Cos., spent $5 million to reposition and renovate the 1975 building near CNN Center. The investment is starting to pay off.

Dilweg said today it has signed leases with new tenants and expansions, and extensions with existing tenants that total nearly 50,000 square feet. With the new activity, the 637,000-square-foot building is 80 percent leased, spokesman Nick Banaszak said.

The activity at 101 Marietta comes amid a resurgence along the corridor, thanks in part to the recent openings of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the National College Football Hall of Fame and the success of STATS, the Embassy Suites Centennial Olympic Park and other Legacy Ventures operations.

Dilweg acquired the 36-story building, at one time named for its proximity to Centennial Olympic Park, in August 2015 for nearly $69 million. Its renovation included a new front lobby designed by Perkins + Will that features a two-way virtual window, which offers real-time views of Marietta Street and the building's interior. The upgrades also included the creation of an area for tenants to hang out dubbed "The Hub," on the 6th floor.

The office tower at 101 Marietta St. has been declared nearly dead at least twice before. First, its vacancy plummeted in the 1990s as the Atlanta Federal Center opened downtown and stole away several of 101 Marietta's government tenants. The building was saved when Insignia Financial Group and Lennar Partners acquired the building and spent $28 million renovating it - and adding the highly visible lighted chevron at its top. Shortly after the building reopened on Oct. 15, 1999, its occupancy stood at a slim 12%. But the new owners plan paid off as it landed several new tenants, including Turner Broadcasting System (TBS), owner of CNN.

TBS eventually grew to occupy 264,000 square feet at 101 Marietta, at the time known as Centennial Tower. Simultaneously, TBS planned to develop Turner Tower atop its Centennial Parking garage across Marietta Street, but the building never materialized.

By May 2001, TBS shifted priority to its Techwood Campus in Midtown, where it developed several buildings for its hipper holdings. As a result, Turner began offering for sublease its space at Centennial Tower.

Dilweg bought the building from CrossHarbor Capital Partners and Jackson Oats Shaw, now known as Jackson Corporate Real Estate. It hired Chris Port and Katherine Lynch of CBRE to lease up its new property.

The CBRE team represented Dilweg in the flurry of lease negotiations at the end of 2017 and beginning of this year. The deals include expanded leases with The Associated Press and Urban One radio, and new leases with Harris & Smith architecture, logistics firm C.H. Robinson and eBecs, a Microsoft business software provider, among others.

Tony Wilbert, Atlanta Market Reporter  CoStar Group   

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