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Bridge Buys Lenox Park, One of AT&T's Atlanta Homes, for +$250 Million

Utah Investor Adds Five-Building Campus to Portfolio, Will Look to Re-lease 1277 Lenox Park Building Following AT&T's Exit
August 9, 2018

Lakeside at Lenox Park, one of five buildings that make up the Lenox Park office campus acquired yesterday by Bridge Investment Group for north of $250 million.

In the past year, Atlanta's Jeff Shaw has helped Bridge Investment Group add 4 million square feet of office - from Denver to Atlanta - to its portfolio. This week, he helped Bridge add 1 million square feet in Atlanta in one fell swoop.

Bridge closed Tuesday on Lenox Park, a five-building portfolio with more than 1 million square feet of office space. Lenox Park, located just northeast of Atlanta in Brookhaven, GA, is known for housing one of AT&T's three major office clusters in metro Atlanta.

Bridge paid more than $250 million for the portfolio. The seller was Fortress Investment Group, a New York investment management firm represented by David Tennery of commercial real estate services firm, Jones Lang LaSalle. Tennery declined to comment on the transaction.

The seller employed a marketing strategy that targeted a limited number of investors, each of which made an offer on the property.

AT&T has been a tenant in each of the buildings at one point, but it vacated one of them, Lakeside at Lenox Park, about three weeks ago, Shaw told CoStar News. Shaw, chief executive officer of Bridge Commercial Real Estate (BCRE), said AT&T's departure represents an opportunity to upgrade the seven-story, 153,093-square-foot building at 1277 Lenox Park Blvd. and offer a large block of space in the Upper Buckhead area.

Buckhead, the heart of Atlanta's financial district, currently is devoid of new Class A office construction. As a result, large office users have few options when seeking space there.

Jeff Shaw.
Photo Credit: Bridge Commercial.

"With limited large blocks available in the Buckhead office market, the 1277 Lenox Park Blvd. site is a rare opportunity for midsize and large users to office in an existing corporate campus with optimal accessibility to major corridors and transit," Shaw said.

AT&T became a major tenant at Lenox Park with the 2006 acquisition of regional telecom company BellSouth. In the 1990s, BellSouth selected Lenox Park as one of its three employment centers in Atlanta as part of its $750 million Metro Plan aimed at consolidating workers near MARTA transit stops. BellSouth would set up a shuttle from the Lenox MARTA Station to Lenox Park.

Fast forward to 2018, and Lenox Park once again is playing a major role in AT&T's employee shuffle in metro Atlanta.

In January, AT&T alerted Atlanta employees that it would vacate several buildings, including its iconic AT&T Midtown Center, and consolidate workers in its other buildings. While AT&T will vacate up to 2.5 million square feet in metro Atlanta, Lenox Park would remain a key center, according to an email to employees from AT&T executive Rasesh Patel. In the email, Patel said it would consolidate employees within its Lenox Park buildings, specifically 1025 and 1057 Lenox Park Blvd., and 2180 Lake Blvd.

While AT&T remains the anchor tenant at Lenox Park, Shaw said Bridge Investment and its office arm, Bridge Commercial Real Estate, will waste no time in preparing to re-lease the 1277 building now that AT&T has vacated the property. BCRE's in-house team of Kevin Lott, Jim Caswell and Stewart Thrash will market the building.

Lobby rendering.
Photo Credit: Bridge Commercial.

The first priority will be renovating the lobby at 1277, adding new amenities and creating a better connection to Lenox Park's 32-acre campus. The Lenox Park mixed-use campus includes large outdoor patios, green spaces and a lake, as well as running trails.

Lenox Park also houses a sizable honeybee nest, complete with a beekeeper who sells fresh honey to Lenox Park tenants.

Tony Wilbert, Atlanta Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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