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Developers Rush to Create Cool Offices

Crestline, Lincoln Will Revamp, Recast 730 Midtown
June 4, 2018
Developers are rushing to build new creative office spaces, and some are finding it more expedient to recast aging Class B buildings as techie havens.

In the latest iteration, New York-based Crestlight Capital and Lincoln Property Co. Southeast are repositioning the 11-story, 217,090-square-foot office building at 730 Peachtree as a cool spot aimed at attracting technology, advertising, media and information, or TAMI, companies. The 51-year-old nondescript building will get a new non-structural outer covering, or curtain wall, as well as a new name - Circa 730.

Demand for open office settings in creatively designed spaces is spiking in Midtown - thanks mainly to Georgia Tech developments and the new NCR headquarters. While several established developers including Hines, Portman Holdings and Selig Enterprises are creating these spaces in new office buildings, a handful of others instead are transforming forgotten Class B properties to fit the desires of tech and creative companies.

Crestlight and Lincoln are acting as demand for open, hip office space is spiking. Competitors such as Dilweg Cos. of North Carolina are updating the 58-year-old Pershing Point complex on Peachtree, and North American Properties is underway with its re-creation of Colony Square at 14th and Peachtree streets.

When Dilweg acquired Pershing Point Plaza, a 409,579-square-foot office complex at 1375 Peachtree St., for $75 million in March, it immediately announced plans to invest $10 million to update the property. "We want to capture the creative momentum as soon as we can," Dilweg Regional Director of Acquisitions Blake Underwood told CoStar News.

For Lincoln, the conversion of 730 Midtown marks the second major renovation it will oversee at the building near Atlanta's famous Fox Theatre. When Lincoln launched a rehabilitation of the building in 2000, the company did it for the same reason it's doing it again - to attract technology companies. The plan worked, as 730 Midtown worked to lure away online payment company Derivion from One Atlanta Plaza in March 2000, the exact time the tech-heavy Nasdaq index peaked, then crashed. By 2001, Derivion disappeared when Metavante acquired it.

Lincoln is confident that this time is different. It points to Midtown's growing population, reputation and Atlanta's "it" submarket for millennials and the companies it's attracting. For instance, NCR Corp. is a well-established company, not a startup.

"Midtown is one of the fastest-growing areas, surrounded by some of the city's most-prominent neighborhoods and most-popular landmarks - making it a hotspot for companies seeking modern office space in the heart of the city," Lincoln Senior Vice President Hunter Henritze said. Moreover, Midtown has surpassed Buckhead as Atlanta's priciest office submarket.

To cater to startups, Lincoln and Crestlight are developing 20,000 square feet of innovative spec suites. Lincoln also is installing what the company touts as the city's first interactive Pixel display wall.

Tony Wilbert, Atlanta Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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