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BrightWave Taps Tower Place 100 for New HQ

National Email Marketing Firm Moving to Heart of Buckhead
January 29, 2018
Watch out Midtown, Buckhead is closing in on your position as the top tech office submarket in Atlanta.

BrightWave has joined the growing list of technology, digital and creative firms gathering in Buckhead. And we're talking the heart of Buckhead, not the part of Buckhead that borders Midtown. BrightWave, which says it is North America's leading email marketing agency, signed about an eight-year lease for nearly 18,000 square feet at the iconic Tower Place 100 building, which the company is slated to occupy in mid to late April.

BrightWave is relocating from 67 Peachtree Park Dr., a two-story building owned by Selig Enterprises in south Buckhead across Peachtree Rd. from the Bennett Street shopping area.

So why would BrightWave, whose work force depends somewhat heavily on millennials, move from south Buckhead to the epicenter of Atlanta's financial district?

"BrightWave has always been in the Buckhead and Midtown markets, and it was of paramount importance to continue to be convenient and centrally located to employees and clients," BrightWave founder and CEO Simms Jenkins tells CoStar News. "The heart of Buckhead has become much more attractive as a hub for tech and digital companies as Atlanta Tech Village has become an anchor and more amenities have followed for today's changing work force."

Atlanta Tech Village is the brainchild of techie-turned-landlord David Cummings. Situated at Piedmont and Lenox roads, ATV is one of the first co-working spaces in Atlanta and serves an anchor of Buckhead's tech community. Not just that, WeWork set up shop at Tower Place long before signing leases at Colony Square and 1372 Peachtree in Midtown.

BrightWave's Buckhead shortlist also included Piedmont Center 9-12, which is close to ATV, and 1776 Peachtree, a rehabbed office center located near one of BrightWave's previous headquarters at 1718-1720 Peachtree St. Before creating the shortlist, BrightWave nearly completed a sublease deal at 55 Allen Plaza in downtown Atlanta, but it cratered.

The heart of Buckhead has emerged as a legitimate epicenter of tech and digital activity, said Dan Granot, whose Joel & Granot Real Estate represented BrightWave in its search. "I'm seeing a lot of tech companies consider Buckhead," said Granot, who teamed with Alan Joel on this transaction. "With Atlanta Tech Village, Piedmont Center, the old Lincoln building [at 3405 Piedmont], and depending on whether you consider Armour Yards in Buckhead - the submarket definitely is becoming technology focused."

Early-stage tech companies and start-ups are attracted to properties such as Piedmont Center, Granot said, because the rental rates typically are $5-$8 lower than surrounding Class A towers, and it offers free parking - a rarity in Buckhead. "The price is right," he noted.

Last year, Granot helped Roadie, a startup that connects package senders with drivers who can deliver them, nearly doubled its size at Piedmont Center.

As for BrightWave, it's been around since 2003 and has a strong financial history that make it a creditworthy tenant. BrightWave counts Aflac, Chick-fil-A, Cox Media Group, Equifax and Ferrari North America as blue-chip clients.

BrightWave also is a growing company and now employs about 60 people. The company has options to expand at Tower Place, and that is "of critical importance given our growth plans," Jenkins said.

The Cushman & Wakefield team of Glenn Kolker and Preston Menning represented Tower Place 100. The negotiations likely felt like a reunion for Jenkins, Granot and Kolker. All are or have owned homes in Atlanta's Brookwood Hills neighborhood.

Tony Wilbert, Atlanta Market Reporter  CoStar Group   

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