Weather's Warm Front Headed To Crown Project?
Gold Kist may go corporate after all.
Numerous sources say that Crown Holdings Corp—owner of the former Gold Kist HQ site in Central Perimeter—is in talks with IBM to house its recently acquired Weather.com operations there. The deal comes on the heels of Crown removing redevelopment plans for the entire property from the City of Dunwoody rezoning consideration.
As we previously reported, Crown's Charles Brown told us the owners were considering a sale of the property or an offer from "a very good prospect" to occupy the office building. It's unclear if this is the same tenant. Sources say Weather.com could take up to 140k SF there.
As we also previously reported, Scotland Wright & Associates namesake Scotland Wright, in a JV representation with CBRE, hit Central Perimeter with the RFP of up to 150k SF that would house the digital platform for The Weather Channel, purchased by IBM earlier this year. The deal would mean The Weather Co would leave The Weather Channel's longtime Cobb County home at 300 Interstate North Pkwy (above), where in 2014 it was in talks with Cobb County for tax incentives to stay put.
While declining comment on Weather.com, Crown's Blair Schlossberg (here) does say the firm plans to invest "tens of millions" of dollars into the 262k SF former Gold Kist HQ to turn the tired building into a Class-A office.
Blair says the rental trajectory of office buildings in Central Perimeter has risen to the point where the investment makes sense. At the eleventh hour this past May, Crown withdrew a rezoning request with the Dunwoody City Council after a dispute erupted over just how many of the originally planned 380 housing units would be for-sale versus rental.
The bet on going heavy condo—where only 10% of the apartment units would have remained for-rent within five years of delivery—was just too chancy for Crown and its financial backers. Crown could also build some 2.5M SF of office on the property under current zoning.