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Atlanta Investor Buys Into Hot Westshore Office Market

An Atlanta office investor is stepping outside its home turf for the first time with a buy into Tampa's tony Westshore office district.

Tampa Commons located in the Westshore submarket of Tampa

Atlanta Property Group has purchased a portfolio of Class-A office buildings scattered around the East Coast from Starwood Capital Group for an undisclosed sum. The 1.3M SF portfolio includes the 255K SF Tampa Commons office building.

“We saw this as a great investment because these are all well-located Class A assets in markets with good job growth, limited construction and strong fundamentals,” Atlanta Property Group partner Shep Dinos said.

The buy comes with a catch, though. Time Customer Service, a Time Inc. subsidiary, is expected to vacate up to 50K SF at Tampa Commons in the near future, giving Atlanta Property Group the first test of its leasing mettle in the market. Atlanta Property Group Managing Partner Jonathan Rodbell said he remains bullish given the area's fundamentals. Rodbell said JLL will remain as the leasing group on the property.

That optimism may bear out in a recent Colliers International report, which notes that there were only two buildings in the market that could accommodate users seeking 50K SF, a far cry from three years ago when more than 10 buildings could fit a user of that size.

“Notably, the Westshore submarket's Class-A buildings held the region's highest asking rate overall at $29.22/SF,” Colliers officials stated in the report. "Rental rates have surpassed 2007's all-time high levels."

And for APG, Tampa Commons may not be the end of its acquisitions in the area.

“The nice thing about having a foothold in these markets is it gives us a launching point,” Rodbell said.

The rest of the Starwood portfolio includes the 165K SF Baldwin Point and the 226,600 SF 11950 Corporate Boulevard, both in Orlando; 227K SF in two buildings at LakePointe Corporate Center in Charlotte; the 175K SF Edgewater Corporate Center One in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and the 235K SF 2000 Park Lane in Pittsburgh.