By Bruce Propst, senior vice president, Carter
ATLANTA (August 24, 2011) – Carter wins back-to-back championships in the Atlanta Commercial Real Estate Softball League and retains possession of the coveted Watson Cup for another year. Winning successive titles in the highly competitive league is a rare feat not often accomplished over almost 30 years of the league’s existence. I think the team was inspired this year to go out on top as this was the last year that a Carter team will be in the league. The pending acquisition of Carter’s brokerage and management businesses by Cassidy Turley means that the CT team will have to pick up where the Carter team left off.
Carter has been in the league from the very start and played an integral part in the league’s founding. In the early 1980’s, a Carter broker and former Georgia Tech baseball player named Larry Entrekin came up with the idea that Atlanta’s commercial real estate firms ought to form a softball league. I was the youngest broker at Carter at the time so I was given the task of calling all of the major brokerage firms at the time to see if they would be interested. The response was very positive and soon thereafter the formative league meeting was held in Carter’s offices then located at 1100 Spring Street. For many years the league enjoyed playing at the old Hellenic Center on Cheshire Bridge Road (thanks to Pete and Andy Alexander and John Micha) until the property was purchased and redeveloped as apartments, which somehow seems appropriate for a commercial real estate league. The league now plays games at Pace Academy’s Warren Road Field. Dave Watson, now with Grubb & Ellis, was the first real League Commissioner and served in the position for many, many years until the current commissioner, Doug Smith of Seefried Properties, took over.
“When you provide a competitive and social outlet for brokers that compete against each other every day for business and you throw in free beer and good food provided by generous landlords, you have a winning combination,” said Ward.
The 2011 Championship Carter team included John Akin, Jack Arnold, Watson Bryant, Ward Entrekin, Tim Farley, Eli Green, Ryan Meehan, Preston Menning, Bo Moore, Spence Searcy, Beau Terrell and David Zanaty.
Thanks to the Carter team, Doug Smith, Pace Academy, the generous landlords/food and drink sponsors, and all the teams participating this year for another great year of real estate softball. Watch out for that Cassidy Turley team, I hear they are pretty tough to beat.
ATLANTA (August 23, 2011) – SunTrust Bank has signed a 95,000-square-foot lease at Campanile in Midtown. Carter’s Kirk Diamond and SunTrust’s Doug Sinclair represented SunTrust Bank and Ridr Knowlton represented the building’s owner, Dewberry Capital.
As reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, SunTrust will be relocating from its current offices Downtown at 25 Park Place next April. The building was sold to Georgia State University in 2007.
"Like Carter, SunTrust is a well-established, well-respected Atlanta-based company, and we will continue to work to ensure SunTrust Bank meets its real estate goals in the move to Campanile," Carter Senior Vice President Kirk Diamond said.
Carter and BellSouth developed Campanile in 1987 as BellSouth’s headquarters. The name “campanile” means bell tower in Italian.
Dewberry Capital acquired Campanile in September 2010 and immediately began working on a full renovation of the property, including a re-glazing of the exterior, renovations of common areas and new building systems. The project will result in a new state-of-the art building with high efficiency glass, new architectural features, new elevator, life safety and digital HVAC systems and upgraded amenities and lobbies. Architects supporting Dewberry Capital on the renovation include Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart (who also designed both One and Two Peachtree Pointe, as well as Gallery Uptown in Dewberry’s Uptown neighborhood), and Houser Walker Architecture. Dewberry Capital secured the same award winning team from Harmon, Inc that successfully completed (during occupancy) the glass replacement at the downtown Westin Peachtree Plaza, following the tornado in March 2008.
“Campanile is a landmark project at a landmark location” stated John Dewberry, founder of Dewberry Capital. “This asset deserves to be resurrected as the premier location in the city for in-town corporate residents”. Dewberry added, “We were pro-active early on in securing the most accomplished teams for each facet of the renovation. The designers and contractors selected represent the best in class.”
Re-glazing is already underway with scaffolding installed and glass testing occurring this month. The renovation project will continue into 2012.
SunTrust Bank considered locations in both Midtown and Buckhead for their new headquarters location. SunTrust will lease approximately 95,000 square feet on floors 3, 7, 8, 9 and 12. Construction on their new space will begin this fall with a targeted occupancy of April 2012. Following the SunTrust lease, Campanile is now over 50 percent leased with the remaining vacancy all on the top floors.
“Campanile represents the quality of real estate SunTrust Bank expects for their headquarters” says Doug Sinclair, Senior Vice President of Corporate Real Estate for SunTrust. Sinclair adds, “SunTrust wants to establish a highly visible presence in Midtown and this location is the premier corner”.
Ridr Knowlton, a Partner at Dewberry Capital, mentions, “SunTrust is one of Atlanta’s most desirable tenants, and we are very pleased to welcome them to Campanile. The addition of SunTrust brings Campanile to over 50 percent leased ahead of schedule. As we do with all our assets, we target the highest caliber tenants and have retained the top floors available to lease in the face of improving market conditions.”
Dewberry Capital has been the most active investor on Peachtree in Atlanta during the downturn, acquiring several key land parcels along Peachtree Street, as well as the trophy landmark Campanile Building.
ATLANTA (Aug. 18, 2011) - Carter just completed brokering the sale of LaGrange Plaza in LaGrange, Ga., for just over $8 million.
The 112,000-square-foot shopping center, anchored by Publix, is located in the heart of LaGrange in west Georgia. Other tenants include Dollar Tree, Goodwill, Hallmark, Hibbet Sports and T-Mobile. The shopping center is 100 percent leased.
Drew Fleming and Mark Joines, vice presidents of Carter’s Retail Investment Sales Group, represented the seller, a privately owned entity. The buyer is a private equity group based in Atlanta.
“This is the second shopping center we have brokered this month,” said Fleming. “In today’s economic climate we are experiencing a flight to quality more than ever. Investors are looking for centers anchored by investment-grade tenants such as Publix.”
Earlier this month Carter brokered the sale of a Kohl’s/Hobby Lobby anchored center in the Charlotte suburb of Rock Hill, S.C. for close to $12.5 million.
By Malloy Peterson, vice president of marketing, Carter
ATLANTA (June 27, 2011) - Carter brokers Bradley Fulkerson and April Hawkinson just completed a 10-year renewal and extension of Brasfield & Gorrie’s 69,713-square-foot Atlanta Regional Headquarters at Barrett Summit in Kennesaw. Brasfield & Gorrie is a full-service, general contracting, construction management and design/build service provider based in Birmingham, Ala.
Bradley represented B&G when they originally moved into the facility in 2000, and has assisted with several expansions of the original premises during B&G’s occupancy. Although B&G has several years remaining on their lease, the current transaction is a term extension and rental rate reduction as part of a debt restructuring for the entire Barrett Summit, a three-building complex on Vaughn Road in Barrett Office Park.
“Brasfield & Gorrie’s space at 100 and 200 Barrett Summit is the perfect long term location for them,” Bradley says. “B&G built the building and their interior space when they originally moved in, and Carter helped B&G negotiate an ownership position in the property in partnership with Pope & Land. Renewing the lease, restructuring the rental rate and committing for the next 10 years is a great move for B&G and for the project partnership!”
The Carter/Brasfield & Gorrie relationship dates back to the 1980’s and includes many of Carter’s iconic past development projects and other notable Atlanta projects, including: Colonnade, Birmingham, Alabama; BellSouth Headquarters, Nashville, Tennessee; The Georgia Dome; The Georgia Aquarium; 217 17th Street; Phipps Tower; 3630 Peachtree Street; Bellsouth Midtown; and many more. And in Cincinnati, Brasfield & Gorrie is finishing up the first phase of The Banks, a $600 million mixed-use project in downtown Cincinnati. Carter is the project’s master developer.
By Charles Holloway, senior vice president, Carter
ATLANTA (June 22, 2011) - It was great to see Bagcraft-Papercon, a manufacturer of paper-based packaging products for the food service industry, host a grand opening last week for its new 225,000-square-foot facility in Norcross, Ga.
Last September, I represented Sterling Industries when it sold the empty warehouse to Selig Enterprises, represented by Lee & Associates. Shortly after, Bagcraft-Papercon signed a 15-year-lease for the facility at 6448 Best Friend Road. A unit of Packaging Dynamics Corp., Bagcraft-Papercon had been operating in an undersized facility in Chamblee for years.
According to a recent story in Atlanta Business Chronicle, the location will support the company’s Southeast manufacturing, warehousing and distribution operations. The move and expansion has brought 196 jobs to Gwinnett County.
Constructive Ingenuity helped Bagcraft-Papercon with the move by assisting with equipment inventory, rigging, design, engineering and project management. Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that Bagcraft-Papercon invested $7.3 million in renovations and equipment.
Chris Cummiskey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development was recently quoted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about Bagcraft-Pepercon’s expansion.
“This is a longtime Georgia company, and we couldn't be more pleased that it is expanding to accommodate the needs of not only Georgia's food processing industry -- the state's largest manufacturing sector -- but of the Southeast as a whole."
I couldn’t agree with the commissioner more. I’m honored to have been part of a transaction that helped bring new jobs to metro Atlanta. Congratulations to Bagcraft-Papercon on a successful move!
ATLANTA (June 16, 2011) – Carter said today Atlantic Southeast Airlines has leased an entire floor at Hartsfield Centre near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
ASA leased 20,440 square feet at Hartsfield Center, an eight-story, 148,621-square-foot building owned by Alecta, a Swedish pension fund. Carter’s Mike Shelly and Sonia Winfield represented Alecta in the transaction. David Andes of Newburger-Andres represented ASA, a regional carrier for Delta and United.
ASA is a subsidiary of SkyWest Airlines. When SkyWest acquired ExpressJet Airlines last year, SkyWest made ExpressJet a subsidiary of ASA. This merger and acquisition created an office space constraint for ASA, which transformed the former Eastern Airlines hangar into its headquarters in 2008.
“ASA was one of Hartsfield Centre’s original tenants and we are delighted to have ASA return to the building,” Carter’s Winfield said. “The building’s location is idea for airlines and -aviation and logistics-related companies.”
ASA is expected to move into Hartsfield Centre in August. With the ASA lease, Hartsfield Centre is 75 percent leased.
Cassidy Turley to Gain Position in Atlanta—Key Market for Growth Strategy
ST. LOUIS (May 27, 2011) – Cassidy Turley, a leading commercial real estate services provider in the U.S., announced today its commitment to acquire the brokerage and property management businesses of Carter, a national leader in project development, commercial real estate services and investments. Based in Atlanta, Carter maintains full-service offices in Atlanta and Tampa and various offices throughout the U.S.
“Cassidy Turley is delighted to announce our commitment to acquire the brokerage and property management businesses from Carter,” said Mark Burkhart, Cassidy Turley CEO. “Carter’s thoughtful and client-driven approach is consistent with ours and will provide our clients across the country access to the best advice from an industry leading team in this region. The addition of Carter will allow us to offer our full spectrum of services in two significant markets—Atlanta and Central Florida.”
An industry leader for over 50 years, Carter was founded in 1958 in Atlanta as a brokerage and property management firm and evolved into a full service real estate company – offering corporate services, property management, investment sales and project management for clients across the nation. Once the acquisition is completed, Carter’s Brokerage Services and Property and Facility Management groups will operate as Cassidy Turley. Carter has completed transactions valued at $4.6 billion in Atlanta and Tampa alone in the past five years and manages 25 million square feet in 11 states on behalf of private, institutional and corporate clients as well as for its real estate funds.
Going forward, Carter will focus on continuing to grow its remaining and successful Development, Project Management, Investments, Asset Management and Strategic Consulting groups. Continuing to operate these business units as “Carter,” the company will be focused on delivering value as an investor, developer, project manager, consultant, and asset manager for its clients. Carter’s Asset Management division manages more than $2.5 billion of third-party and Carter-owned assets, while its Program Development Services division currently oversees projects across the country and is consistently ranked as one of the top 5 commercial real estate development firms in the nation.
“We are excited about moving forward in the process to join Cassidy Turley. This move will allow us to grow and strengthen our service business by leveraging Cassidy Turley’s leading capital markets, leasing, property management and corporate services platforms,” said Bob Peterson, Chairman and CEO of Carter. “With Cassidy Turley’s national platform and service approach, we can better serve our clients with multi-market needs. In addition, Cassidy Turley’s scale and reputation for workplace satisfaction will enable us to offer our professionals additional growth opportunities and a culture that complements Carter’s.”
“This acquisition will allow reciprocal sharing of best practices between the two firms. We welcome Carter’s key leaders, including Bob Peterson, Chairman and CEO, Scott Taylor, President, Holly Hughes, Executive Vice President and Mike Shelly, Executive Vice President, to our team. We see joining forces as a win-win for Carter, Cassidy Turley, and most importantly, our clients,” added Mr. Burkhart.
By Elizabeth Jinks, director of research, Carter
ATLANTA (Jan. 26, 2011) - The volume of brokerage transactions at Carter should continue to improve in 2011, thanks to growing confidence among small business owners and a stabilization of the capital markets, according to the firm's top transaction specialists.
“Carter Brokerage gross commissions in 2010 were up 32 % over 2009," said Mike Shelly, executive vice president of Brokerage Services. "We think 2011 activity will be up over 2010."
From negotiating leases to facilitating sales, Carter has successfully handled $4.6 billion of diverse transactions in the past five years alone through offices in Atlanta and Tampa. Its Brokerage Services unit offers three main service lines: tenant representation, landlord representation and investment sales and dispositions for product types including: office, industrial, retail, hotel, land and mixed use.
The division is led internally by Specialty Group Leaders who are experts in their respective client services and product types.
Shelly, who also leads Carter's Office Leasing Specialty Group, says investment sales activity - which doubled nationally in 2010 to $115 billion - should continue to pick up momentum this year.
"We see investment sales and dispositions on the increase in 2011 reflecting a settling down of the capital markets and a realization on the part of the banks that they need to get some troubled loans off their books as their capital structure improves," he says. "We see office leasing increasing improving particularly with small- and medium-sized deals reflecting the growing confidence of the small business sector with tax issues and the economy becoming clearer.”
Gary Lee, who leads Carter's Investment Sales and Dispositions Specialty Group, agrees that transaction activity will accelerate in 2011 because banks and other lenders are starting to release distressed properties and REO assets for sale. "Lenders and special servicers are more efficiently moving distressed properties into the marketplace for either sale of stabilization which should translate to more sales and leasing opportunities," Lee says.
Kirk Diamond, who leads Carter's Office Tenant Representation Specialty Group, expects office rents to remain flat for most of the year before trending upward in late 2011. “Rents should remain fairly stable in 2011 with very little movement up or down," Diamond says. "As 2011 transitions into 2012, with the increased activity toward the second half of the year, very slight rental increases - in selected markets - will begin to slowly appear."
But don't look for Atlanta's industrial market to bounce back any time soon, says Skip Petters, leader of Carter's Industrial Real Estate Specialty Group.
“The industrial real estate market in Atlanta over the past five years has gone from 10.3 percent vacant to 14.2 percent vacant, or 81.5 million square feet of available industrial space on the market at year-end 2010," Petters says. "Now the market must absorb approximately 30 million square feet to get back into balance.
"This could take 2-3 years which means unfortunately there will be no quick fix.”
(In the above photo above, Carter Chairman and CEO Bob Peterson - third from left - stands with Carter's Specialty Group Leaders Gary Lee, Kirk Diamond, Skip Petters, Mike Shelly and Bruce Probst, who leads the Land Specialty Group.)