Colonial Properties sells Regents Park

Regents Park, the $35 million development of 14 town houses and nine flats on Peachtree Road just north of Peachtree Battle Avenue in Buckhead, was sold by Colonial Properties Trust for $16.3 million in cash, according to an April 6 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Resource Real Estate Partners bought the upscale town house project, which was developed with Carter.

Regent Park was a victim of the housing slump. Colonial said it expects to record about a $300,000 write-down, or 1 cent a share, in the first quarter of 2009 as a result of the transaction. The sale also eliminates the operating expenses and costs to carry the associated Regents Park units, Colonial said. The proceeds were used to reduce the balance on the company’s unsecured line of credit.

Regents Park was Carter’s only residential project in the market. The development became distressed, so Carter and Colonial looked for buyers. Regents Park suffered a write-downs of $14.8 million in 2008 and a $1.2 million in 2007.

“Carter is proud of the role it played in developing Regents Park at Peachtree Battle,” Carter President Scott Taylor recently said.

Balfour Beatty cuts Streets of Buckhead staff

Balfour Beatty Construction has laid off eight hourly employees and several engineers and assistant project managers who were working on The Streets of Buckhead. The cuts came as part of the contractor’s efforts to work with developer Ben Carter Properties.

“We’re trying to manage Ben’s money as best we can,” said Jeff George, vice president of the Balfour Beatty’s Atlanta commercial group. He added he hopes to rehire the workers when progress resumes on the site.

Work on the $650 million first phase of the project has all but stopped as Ben Carter renegotiates with contractors and works with announced retail tenants on when to open. It could be as late as fall 2010, he has said.

George has said Carter is current on all payments, and a fall 2010 opening is still feasible.

Wolf Camera liquidating Brookhaven store

Ritz Camera Center Inc., the owner of Wolf Camera, gained Bankruptcy Court approval to sell the assets of the 400 stores it plans to close, including the store in Brookhaven Station in Brookhaven, as part of a plan to liquidate 40 percent of its stores.

Beltsville, Md.-based Ritz Camera, a privately held chain, will shutter 400 of its 1,000 stores in 45 states.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath in Wilmington, Del., also approved Ritz’s request to borrow $85 million from Wachovia Bank to help fund operations as it shuts the stores. Ritz will retain as many as 375 stores.

In 1987, Ritz launched Boater’s World, a boating and fishing supply retailer. Slumping sales at Boater’s World prompted the company’s bankruptcy filing. The company got permission to shut those stores March 19.

In 2001, Ritz acquired Atlanta-based Wolf Camera, which itself had sought bankruptcy protection.