Atlanta Master-Planned Business Park Changes Hands

Westmount Realty Capital and Quilvest Private Equity teamed up to purchase a mammoth 1.2 million-square-foot office park comprising 17 Class A buildings in Atlanta.

By Keith Loria, Contributing Editor

Atlanta business park
Gwinnett Corporate Center

Westmount Realty Capital LLC and Quilvest Private Equity have partnered to acquire Gwinnett Corporate Center, 17 Class A buildings totaling 1.2 million square feet, in Norcross, Ga. The sale also included an additional six-acre, pad-ready site for future development.

Westmount is the managing member and will provide property management services as well.

“We like the general dynamics of what’s going on in Atlanta,” Clifford Booth, Westmount’s president, told CPE. “We’ve been investors in the Atlanta market for 25 years and we’ve seen how the Atlanta economy has come back, although slower than some other places in the country, but clearly stronger now.”

Located at 1700-1865 Corporate Dr., and 4145-4165 Shackleford Road, the 115-acre property is one of the premier master-planned business parks in the I-85 northeast corridor.

Light industrial, rear-load, multi-tenant buildings make up most of the Corporate Drive properties, ranging in building construction year from 1984 to 2000, with typical clear heights of 20 to 23 feet. The Shackleford Road properties are office buildings and were built between 2000 and 2002. The industrial buildings are currently at 79 percent leased in a 93 percent-occupancy market, and the office buildings are even more under-performing at 48 percent in a market with 81 percent occupancy.

“This is a very high-grade quality park and we were attracted to that quality, its tenancy, and its location,” Booth said. “The portfolio seems to us performing less than the market right now and we’re excited about the possibilities of adding occupancy to the properties.”

Westmount will perform speculative tenant improvements in both the industrial and office buildings in order to enhance the project’s appeal and ability to accommodate near-term occupancy requirements. Once the renovation is completed, Westmount will then rebrand the property as Gwinnett Commons and reintroduce the project to the brokerage community.

“This is right down the fairway for us,” Booth said. “We’re strong in industrial, Atlanta is one of our primary markets and this is clearly a value-add strategy play for us.”

Originally owned by the Dexter Companies for more than three decades, the single-story, brick-exterior complex is close to three I-85 interchanges, and was developed in eight phases. The newly appointed leasing agent, Reliant Real Estate Partners, will be conducting an aggressive leasing campaign on the property.