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Shorenstein Turning Another Floor Of Iconic Skyscraper Into Tech Spec Suites

CBRE Senior Vice President Jeff Keppen

Owners of the tallest skyscraper in the Southeast are betting another floor that cool loft office space will get snapped up by hungry tech tenants.

Shorenstein Properties is expected to turn a full vacant floor — some 24K SF — into plug-and-play tech suite space at Bank of America Plaza, the latest move in its bid to turn a stodgy tower into a tech hub.

San Francisco-based Shorenstein is delivering some 13K SF of spec suites geared toward tech firms in the next few weeks, of which the landlord already has multiple offers out for consideration, CBRE Senior Vice President Jeff Keppen said. That will be followed by a full-floor spec suite in early 2019.

This is part of Shorenstein's The Block @ BofAP program, which began soon after the investor bought Bank of America Plaza in 2016. The space is designed to look like loft offices with lots of shared amenities, the kinds of space popularized by the likes of WeWork and Industrious. But instead of using those coworking membership programs, Shorenstein enters into more traditional, multiyear office leases with different companies.

Keppen said there was no shortage of skepticism at the push to rebrand Bank of America Plaza's image when the program first began. But since then, Shorenstein has leased nearly 100K SF to a variety of tech firms that are gravitating toward space that is near Georgia Tech, including software companies Revel Systems and Riskalyze. 

“Rewind three years ago, people looked at BofA as sort of [an] iconic professional services-type tower,” Keppen said. “We've proven that these companies are more interested in being in a location rather than what the building looked like on the outside.”

Keppen said whether Shorenstein pushes further vacant spaces toward the spec suite program remains to be seen.

“We don't really know,” he said. "We are getting to a point where you've got to be careful where you do too much of the building in this speculative design."

CORRECTION, OCT. 23 2 P.M. ET: This story has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Bank of America Plaza tenant Riskalyze.