ATLANTA-Colonial Properties Trust, a Birmingham-based REIT, hasleased 77,500 square feet to Access Insurance Holdings in the ThreeRavinia Drive building in Atlanta’s Central Perimeter submarket.The building is a 31-story, 813,000-square-foot class A office property that will be over 90% occupied with the addition ofAccess Insurance Holdings. It is part of a three-buildingcomplex.

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Access, an auto-insurance company, took the space for 10 yearsand will move into the building, which will become itsheadquarters, on October 1. The lease has provisions that willallow Access Insurance to expand.

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Until last November, the ownership of the Three Ravinia Drivebuilding was held in a joint-venture partnership between Colonialand DRA Advisors. Colonial held a 15% ownership stake in 17commercial buildings in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast withthe investment advisor.

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At the end of November 2009, Colonial acquired the Three RaviniaDrive building “as part of an unwind of the larger jointventure,” says Jerry Brewer, executive vice president for financefor the REIT. As a part of that transaction (or series oftransactions) while Colonial became the sole owner of the ThreeRavinia building, it gave up the 15% ownership it had in the other16 buildings, he says. But it was also released from $141.1 millionof mortgage debt, which represented Colonial’s pro rata share ofdebt owed by the joint venture.

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Colonial Properties went public in 1993 and, in 2007, it enteredinto joint-venture agreements for most of its office and retailproperties, says Brewer. More recently, Colonial moved towardgetting the majority its assets in the multifamily sector. Asof June 30, 2010, Colonial owned or managed 34,230 apartment unitsand 17.8 million square feet of commercial space.

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