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Bust-Weathering Atlanta Players Will Revive Allen Plaza

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The cyclical nature of the real estate business lends itself to all manner of lame analogies to nature. But the bottom line is that you have to be alive to play, and those Atlanta firms that made it through the worst of the spectacular bust intact are now in the enviable position of scooping up prime land and buildings at very attractive prices. Case in point: Regent Partners, the established Buckhead firm behind projects like Tower Place and The Sovereign. While the condominiums atop the Sovereign have struggled, Regent sold the office portion of that project for a record number last year. That refilling of coffers no doubt helped put them in the position to make the recently-announced $4.5 million acquisition (in partnership with Norcross' Worthington Hyde Partners) of 50 Allen Plaza, the skyscraper site that many view as the crown jewel of the huge project that effectively took another significant Atlanta player (Hal Barry) out of the game. With the undeveloped land at Allen Plaza now controlled by Regent and fellow Atlanta-based real estate survivor Post Properties, the prospect of a landscape-altering mixed-use development being completed and activating 'Centennial Hill' is renewed. And many believe this would be a major step toward creating a truly vibrant Atlanta downtown. The speed and resilience of the broader economic recovery will ultimately determine how quickly Regent and Post begin building on the sites, but there is reason for general optimism with these companies in the driver's seat(s). (A hat-tip to TC.)

· Regent Partners buys 50 Allen Plaza [Atlanta Business Chronicle]