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EQT Exeter Buys Suburban Atlanta Flex Office Park, Plans Warehouse Conversion

A global real estate investor is looking to add more value to a Gwinnett County flex office project by adding more industrial space.

the 2400 Commerce Ave building that is part of the Satellite Place complex in Duluth.

EQT Exeter purchased Satellite Place, a four-building, 289K SF flex office and industrial complex, from Satellite Place Property LLC for $36.25M in an all-cash transaction, Bisnow has learned.

Newmark Senior Managing Director Casey Keitchen brokered the transaction.

Tenants in the project include Ricoh USA, which leases 50K SF, Codoxo with 20K SF, and energy and paper industry supplier Valmet with 27K SF, according to a CoStar report obtained by Bisnow

The selling entity is tied to an Arizona private equity syndicator called Clear Vista Management and Virtua Partners, two firms led by Quynh Palomino, according to Georgia records. Satellite Place is located off Satellite Boulevard near Interstate 85 and Gwinnett Place Mall.

“Their plan is to peel back office into more industrial,” Keitchen said.

Three of the four buildings — 2450, 2405 and 2400 Commerce Ave. in Duluth — are up to 80% built out for office tenants, Keitchen said.

The fourth building, the 57K SF 2425 Commerce Ave, is built out mainly for office tenants and has high vacancy. EQT Exeter is under contract with an unidentified party to flip that building, Keitchen said.

EQT Exeter, the 10th-largest private real estate asset manager in the world, according to PERE, plans to convert much of the remaining offices into shallow-bay warehouse space, a subsector of the industrial market that has been experiencing rising tenant demand fueled by needs for last-mile distribution points.

“You got brand new multifamily going up a half mile away, and the [Gwinnett Place] mall will be redeveloped in the near future," Keitchen said.

EQT Exeter and Virtua Partners didn't respond to requests for comment.

Unlike big-box distribution centers, shallow bay industrial buildings tend to be smaller and narrower with rows of bay truck doors stretching along its facade. While shallow-bay buildings make up 12% of the Atlanta Metro industrial market, they are in high demand from investors. Shallow-bay warehouses tend to be more flexible, located closer to major population centers and more easily convertible to and from office footprints.

EQT Exeter, which has headquarters offices in Radnor, Pennsylvania, and London, is an active investor in Metro Atlanta, where it manages or owns 75 properties, according to its website.

Palomino, who goes by Quinn, and a Virtua affiliate were charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2022 for failing to disclose conflicts of interest and fees to their investors. The SEC found that Virtua Capital Partners raised a private equity fund to invest in real estate but failed to disclose that all of the capital raised would be directed into properties owned by Virtua entities.

Palomino, her colleagues and her companies agreed to pay a fine of more than $2M without having to admit to wrongdoing.