Rubenstein Picks Up Atlanta Office Park for $265M

The company bought the 152-acre Sanctuary Park complex from J.P. Morgan, in a joint venture with a minority equity partner.

By Gail Kalinoski

Sanctuary Park, Atlanta
Sanctuary Park, Atlanta

AtlantaRubenstein Partners LP, a private real estate investment management firm based in Philadelphia, has teamed up with a minority equity partner to acquire Sanctuary Park, a premier Class A office park in the North Fulton submarket of Atlanta, for $265 million.

Rubenstein and its partner bought the 152-acre, 1.6 million-square-foot complex from J.P. Morgan, which put it up for sale earlier this year, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The property has nine mid-rise buildings and three zoned development sites that could accommodate an additional 750,000 square feet of office space.

Sanctuary Park, which has historically outperformed other similar office developments in the market, is currently 96 percent leased by tenants including Delta Dental Insurance, Coca-Cola, Ernst & Young, Ciena Corp. and LeasePlan. Verizon Wireless, which leases more than 240,000 square feet, will be leaving the complex as it consolidates into other buildings it owns in the region, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported in February.

Rubenstein said in a statement that the large block vacancy that will be created by the Verizon Wireless departure is a “unique opportunity to capture the growing tenant demand” in the area. Once Verizon is gone, the occupancy rate will rest at approximately 75 percent.

“Sanctuary Park is exactly the kind of unique value-add opportunity Rubenstein Partners seeks out,” stated Taylor Smith of Rubenstein Partners. “The Class A property is generally regarded as the top office park in North Fulton and we are thrilled to complete the acquisition of this asset.

“We believe Verizon’s departure created an opportunity for the joint venture to acquire an asset with a strong historical performance as well as control the best large block of available Class A space in a submarket that is lacking in the same,” Smith added. “We anticipate our planned enhancements to the property will help solidify Sanctuary Park’s standing as the preeminent destination for tenants in North Fulton.”

Commercial Property Executive reported in June that Microsoft Corp. is also scheduled to move from Sanctuary Park. The company is set to relocate in the second quarter of 2017 to 8000 Avalon in Alpharetta, Ga.

Sanctuary Park is located along Georgia 400 and also has shuttle service to and from the North Springs MARTA railroad station. Seven out of the nine buildings are LEED- and ENERGY STAR-certified. Amenities include three conference centers, a training room, two full-service cafes, two fitness centers and a softball field and pavilion.

Rental rates at the office park are roughly $27 per square foot, 25 percent less than what tenants are paying in new office buildings in the North Fulton submarket, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Will Yowell, Justin Parsonnet and Jay O’Meara of CBRE marketed the property and the joint venture worked closely with Patterson Advisory Group to arrange financing for the purchase. JLL’s Jeff Bellamy and Adam Viente will continue as leasing agents for the property.

Working on behalf of its investors and clients, Rubenstein has invested in more than 10 million square feet of office real estate assets throughout the Eastern United States since 2005. Earlier this year, the company acquired another office property in the Atlanta market—Interstate North Office Park, a 985,500-square-foot complex in the Northwest submarket. That property, 60 percent leased at the time of the acquisition, comprises 11 low- and mid-rise buildings and is adjacent to the new 41,000-seat Atlanta Braves baseball stadium and mixed-use development.

In late August, Rubenstein and Strategic Capital Partners acquired Parkwood Crossing, an eight-building office park in Indianapolis, for a total of $163 million.