New Life in Downtown Atlanta?

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor According to both local and national papers, Georgia State has been eyeing the inconic Equitable building downtown for its business school. The 33-story skyscraper has been one of the most familiar office towers on the downtown Atlanta [...]

According to both local and national papers, Georgia State has been eyeing the inconic Equitable building downtown for its business school.

The 33-story skyscraper has been one of the most familiar office towers on the downtown Atlanta skyline since the 1960s. The 622,301-square-foot building is set in the very heart of Atlanta’s downtown business, government, educational and entertainment district. And it is currently only 38 percent leased, according to CB Richard Ellis Services Inc., which has been contracted to market the property.

The dean of Georgia State’s J Mack Robinson College of Business—H. Fenwick Huss—has addressed an email to faculty and staff detailing the university’s plan to buy the Equitable, which could house the Robinson College administrative and faculty offices within the next two years.

Georgia State, the second-largest university in the state, has more than 31,500 students, out of which 7,600 graduate and undergraduate students attend Robinson College, according to fall 2009 data. Due to its rapid growth rate, Georgia State University Foundation had already purchased the SunTrust building and the Citizens Trust building back in 2007, among other, smaller properties. According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Georgia State is recognized as a major player in downtown Atlanta real estate, known also for its history of buying and reinvigorating abandoned real estate, like the refurbishing of the Rialto Center for the Arts.

The Coca-Cola Co. also has an interest in downtown, having been recently scouting buildings to see which of them could accommodate a 125,000-square-foot lease. Coke, currently planning a $90 million modernization for its 1.8 million-square-foot campus, may be in need of a place to relocate many of its workers once the renovations are underway.

Downtown and Midtown buildings such as Promenade II, Campanile and 55 Park Place are among those targeted, yet no official announcement has been made by Coke’s representative, Raney Real Estate.