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Bisnow Scoop: Greenstone & John Williams' Big Plans

Atlanta

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With a little help from famed developer John Williams (not to be confused with famed composer John Williams or famed blues musician John Williams or famed basketball player John "Hot Rod" Williams), Greenstone Properties is ready to build Atlanta's next office building in the Cumberland/Galleria area--the first new building in this cycle.

Bisnow Scoop: Greenstone & John Williams' Big Plans

Greenstone acquired more than seven acres the northwest corner of Cumberland Boulevard and I-75 from Crescent Resources for an undisclosed sum, with financing provided by John's Preferred Apartment Communities. In turn, Greenstone is gunning to build a 10-story, 237k SF Class-A office building, 250 luxury apartment units, and up to 8,000 SF of retail space by the spring of 2015. It's the best site in the Cumberland market, says Greenstone's Chris Schoen, and "the first new construction Atlanta that we're aware of." To help it along, Preferred is set to take 60k SF for its HQ in the new tower, officials say, along with Greenstone moving its offices there as well. (If you don't bet on yourself, who'll bet on you?)

Bisnow Scoop: Greenstone & John Williams' Big Plans

Indeed, if Greenstone secures construction financing, it would be the first new office building of this cycle. And in perhaps the least-expected location. (Hey, who stole our laser pointer?) Unlike Central Perimeter or Buckhead--both which are running quickly out of available office space--Cumberland/Galleria tallies nearly 17% vacancy, one of the highest in Atlanta, according to Colliers International. But Class-A office vacancy sinks to 11%, and landlords saw 252k SF of absorption in Q3 alone. Chris says he's seeing a good velocity in activity, especially since other submarkets have firmed up.

Bisnow Scoop: Greenstone & John Williams' Big Plans

Preferred Apartment Communities' Dan Dupree (the company founded by Atlanta apartment mogul John Williams, above) says the firm may lend on construction financing of the project, but nothing is set in stone. Late last year, John toyed with plans for a 100k SF office building along Cobb Parkway, as we reported here, but those plans have seemingly stalled.