Crestlight's Big West Midtown Buy Only A Start
Crestlight Capital, a real estate investment firm based in New York and Detroit, has made a splashy acquisition in West Midtown, backed by J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives, but it's not done making waves in Atlanta.
“Atlanta for us is a key target market,” Crestlight Chief Investment Officer Brian McAlpine told Bisnow. "We invest selectively in markets that we know and we like for various reasons, and Atlanta is at the top of that list."
Crestlight and J.P. Morgan bought four adaptive reuse properties totaling more than 360K SF in the West Midtown market from four different parties, the companies announced last month. The joint venture paid $114M for the portfolio it is now dubbing the Westside Collective, McAlpine said.
“You've seen a lot of the live-work-play elements in West Midtown emerge over the last few years,” McAlpine said.
The portfolio includes Third & Urban; Granite Properties Inland Tract, a 79K SF adaptive reuse of two warehouses; and the Complex, a neighboring 110K SF retail and creative office project. Origin Investments sold Puritan Mill, an 83K SF creative office brick-and-timber building, and the 91K SF Ellsworth project to Crestlight and J.P. Morgan. Puritan Mill also was co-owned by Urban Realty Partners.
Crestlight tapped Lincoln Property Co. to lease the remaining 20% vacancy.
Crestlight, a 4-year-old firm with 2.8M SF and $600M of assets under management, typically partners with institutional investors to purchase properties in the eastern U.S., McAlpine said.
The Atlanta portfolio is its first joint venture with J.P. Morgan and its second purchase in Metro Atlanta. Crestlight also owns Circa 730, an 11-story, 217K SF office tower in Midtown Atlanta, which it purchased in 2017.
The firm's desire to add to its holdings revolves in large part around Atlanta's projected population growth and the number of companies establishing offices in the city, McAlpine said. McAlpine said Crestlight is shopping for other real estate projects in Metro Atlanta, a market he said was fairly priced compared to other Gateway markets.
The burgeoning mixed-use environment in West Midtown has become a magnet for larger and larger corporations as well, with Microsoft's plans for its land next to the new Westside Park energizing the area further and drawing in more office tenants.
“It's not just tech. It's traditional businesses. It's law firms. It's ad agencies, media. It's really across the board,” McAlpine said. “[Microsoft] will have a snowball effect over time.”