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ATLANTA-February 2002 marks the date for construction to begin on Georgia-Pacific Corp.’s new $74 million office building.

The project is a joint venture between Georgia-Pacific and MetLife. The partners have already secured a guarantee from Atlanta city officials for up to $8.5 million in tax allocation bonds.

Upon completion, the building in the city’s Downtown district will have 453,000-sf of office space spread over the 10-story tower. The structure will also sport an outdoor public greenspace and an undetermined amount of ground-level retail.

Georgia-Pacific has been planning to construct the new office building for the last few years. The company currently houses its employees in its shared building at Georgia-Pacific Center and at an additional location in the city.

“The new office building is to be exclusively Georgia Pacific,” Greg Guest, the company’s corporate communications manager, tells GlobeSt.com. “But it’s too early to specify if we will completely vacate the current building.”

The current building is also home to Arthur Andersen and the High Museum of Art’s Folk Art and Photography Galleries. That structure, Guest says, is about 60% leased by Georgia-Pacific departments. The rest is leased for outside tenants.

The company says there are numerous benefits to its move, starting with bringing all of its employees on to one campus. Erecting the new structure “lowers our cost for office space [and] it’s a better use of the land we have now,” Guest tells GlobeSt.com.

Another added benefit for Georgia-Pacific is income from the building. “It’s going to be owned by the [MetLife Georgia-Pacific] partnership,” Guest says, “so we’ll have a stake in the ownership of the building and in the ongoing lease revenue.”

Taylor & Mathis manages the building that currently houses Georgia-Pacific and other tenants, and will serve as development manager on the new project. No word was given on an expected date of completion for the building.

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