Work is starting on office tower at Phipps Plaza

While some developers are taking a “wait and see” position related to new office and condominium development in Buckhead, Crescent Resources LLC has started work on the $175 million Phipps Tower, a 20-story office building that will connect to the Phipps Plaza shopping mall.

The project is bordered by Peachtree Road, Lenox Road, and Phipps Boulevard and is across from the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead Hotel.

The 486,000 square-foot office tower, which is expected to be open by January 2010, is being developed in a financial joint venture with Toronto, Canada-based Manulife Financial. The tower will have a terraced garden plaza, parking for more than 1,100 cars and covered pedestrian access to Phipps Plaza.

The project plans call for a lobby-level white tablecloth restaurant, cafe and convenience shop.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Crescent has been talking with several prospective tenants for Phipps Tower and has reportedly identified more than 500,000 square feet of qualified prospects presently in the market. Another two million square feet of current leases are due to expire within the project’s leasing period.

Although four other towers are already under construction in the Buckhead market, the vacancy rate for buildings on the Buckhead Loop is 6 percent. Office towers presently under development include Terminus, developed by Cousins Properties Inc.; 3344 Peachtree, developed by Regent Partners LLC; 3630 Peachtree, developed by Duke Realty Corp. and Pope & Land Enterprises Inc.; and Two Alliance Center, developed by Tishman Speyer.

Crescent Resources, a joint venture between Duke Energy and Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund, has developed Satellite Place, six, six-story office buildings near Gwinnett Place mall; and Corporate Center at Deerfield, two, six-story buildings near Ga. 400 and Windward Parkway. Phipps Tower is Crescent’s first intown office development.

Coalition offers tornado victims help

The Buckhead Coalition has offered its service to help coordinate temporary office space for those downtown office tenants who may have suffered damage from the recent tornado.

“The Coalition is deeply concerned with the aftermath and destruction from the tornado in downtown Atlanta” said Garth Peters, director of community development for the Coalition. “We will do whatever we can to help those businesses affected get up and running as quickly as possible”.

Businesses looking to take advantage of this temporary office service can contact Mr. Peters at 404-307-0090.

The Buckhead Coalition, in its 20th year, is a local non-profit civic association.

Williams is new president for Paces Ferry Realty

Ralph Williams has been appointed president of Paces Ferry Realty, which premiered in February of 2006 as an Atlanta locally owned and operated real estate brokerage firm.

Paces Ferry Realty oversees the sales and marketing of close to $1 billion in new residential construction in Atlanta’s core communities The firm represents developers and builders in selling high-rise, mixed-use, townhomes and executive homes in Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Brookhaven.

Williams is a native Atlantan and began his commercial real estate career in 1985 as a land broker for the eastern region for Merrill Lynch Commercial Real Estate. From 1996 – 2005, he was president of Southeast Realty Partners where he directed the leasing, management and tenant improvement construction for more than 3 million square feet of office space in four cities. During this time he also pursued high-density residential opportunities resulting in the conversion of more than 1000 apartments to condominiums in Georgia and Florida, as well as development of an Atlanta high-rise condominium.