Rent rates a bright spot for office market
October 21, 2010
Atlanta Business Chronicle - by Douglas Sams

Atlanta’s office market is recovering from its worst crash in years, but there is one bright side for building owners — rents avoided the steep declines seen in other major cities…. ….

In Buckhead, Prominence building owners TIAA-CREF and The Blackstone Group L.P. cut asking rates from about $29 per square foot at the peak to $24 today. The moves worked. The 19-story building was 31 percent leased following the departure of anchor tenant Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. It’s about 60 percent leased today.

That tack is a departure for most big pension funds and other big institutional owners based outside Atlanta. Generally, only real estate companies with a strong local presence in Atlanta are quick to adjust rates and concession packages, said Josh Hirsh, managing director with Studley Inc.