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Once half-empty, Atlanta’s tallest building reports ‘banner year’ for leasing

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Iconic Midtown tower is emerging as a legitimate tech hub, per its owners

A photo of Bank of America Plaza, Atlanta’s tallest building.
BoA Plaza: fewer dark floors at night these days.
Photo courtesy of Shorenstein Properties

With its adjacency to a MARTA rail station, proximity to Georgia Tech, and walkability to more than 60 restaurants within a five-block radius, the Southeast’s tallest skyscraper is geographically well-positioned to lure tech talent and mount a full post-recession comeback.

On the heels of a $10-million renovation and several leasing wins in 2018, the investment firm that owns Atlanta’s Bank of America Plaza is reporting a “banner year” that saw the comeback gain steam—and the nearly 30-year-old landmark emerge as a future-focused tech hub.

Shorenstein Properties officials announced today a year-end summary for the 55-story Midtown tower, which counted nearly 160,000 square feet of office leases inked. That’s comparable to the average square footage of a Walmart Supercenter within the high-rise.

An influx of new tech firms and longtime tenants such as law firms agreed to occupy multiple floors for years to come in 2018.

The tower, as seen this past autumn.
Curbed Atlanta photo essay

San Francisco-based Shorenstein paid in the ballpark of $230 million for the troubled building in 2016, which had been half-vacant, foreclosed, and actually auctioned off on courthouse steps downtown during the Great Recession.

The 2018 turnaround signifies a “rapid run on next-generation spec suites” in Atlanta that the company hopes to continue with another batch of revised, loft-style offices in the first quarter of 2019, officials said. (We’ve asked for information on how much space remains available or unoccupied at the 1.3-million-square-foot tower and will update this post with any numbers that come). UPDATE: January 4, 11:16 a.m. A spokesperson provides the following insight regarding BoA Plaza vacancy: More than 500,000 square feet remains available— up to 330,000 contiguous on upper floors. “The tech spec suite program has allowed [the tower] to fill a majority of the lower bank floors and create a ‘hub’ of tech-centric companies together, allowing Shorenstein to preserve a large block on the upper floors.”

The leasing activity has “breathed new life into the building and created a tech hub with future-ready workspace in the heart of the North Avenue Smart Corridor,” said Christopher Caltabiano, Shorenstein’s senior vice president of asset management, in a prepared statement.

Logistics software firm Flexport topped the list of tech-sector additions in 2018, signing a multi-floor lease that claims almost 49,000 square feet. Other new leases and renewals included Revel Systems (25,547 square feet); Buckley Beal LLP (14,000); Groundfloor (7,746); Florence Healthcare (4,106); and Convoy (24,363).

A refreshed office space in the tower.
Photo courtesy of Shorenstein Properties

The building was already home to growing tech firms such as Featurespace, GroSolutions, and Risalyze, alongside legal and professional services firms like Troutman Sanders and, of course, Bank of America.

Beyond reimagined office spaces, renovations last spring included the addition of Marketplace 600 (a 17,000-square-foot food hall), RPM Health Club and Spa, and a new Starbucks in the main lobby.

Bank of America Plaza

600 Peachtree Street Northwest, , GA 30308