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Atl12-12bATLANTA-Locally based Pope & Land Enterprises Inc. has purchased a pricey four-acre tract at Glenlake Parkway and Abernathy Road in North Atlanta for an estimated $7 million or about $40.17 per sf and has broken ground on a a 14-story, 353,000-sf, $61 million office tower on the site, area brokers familiar with the transaction tell GlobeSt.com.

The seller was St. Joe Co. of Jacksonville, FL, the largest landowner in Florida. St. Joe owns 14 acres adjacent to the planned tower. The Pope & Land building is scheduled to be completed in January 2003.

That structure will be the first of three planned office towers at One Glenlake in the central perimeter submarket. St. Joe plans to build a hotel on the site at an undetermined date to complement the three towers but hasn’t disclosed details.

Regions Bank of Alabama is funding the venture. Pope & Land’s equity partner is Dallas-based Granite Properties.

Tied in with the land purchase is a 195,000-sf lease for the new building signed by San Mateo, CA-based Siebel Systems Inc. The transaction is one of the largest office leasing deals this year, as GlobeSt.com reported Nov. 2. Siebel is taking 55% of the building. Construction started Nov. 5.

GlobeSt.com couldn’t reach Siebel or Pope & Land at publication deadline to learn leasing details. But area brokers familiar with the transaction and the submarket tell GlobeSt.com on condition of anonymity the lease is for at least 10 years with an aggregate value of $43 million or about $22 per sf.

Siebel calls itself the world’s leading provider of eBusiness application software. The eight-year-old firm has 8,000 employees in 136 offices in 34 countries. The company posted a profit last year of $221 million on sales of $1.79 billion, a one-year sales growth of 127%, according to the company’s Web site.

Siebel will be relocating to its new headquarters from NorthWinds in suburban Alpharetta, GA and Tower Place in Buckhead.

The 9.7 million-sf, class A GA 400 North submarket posted a third-quarter occupancy level of 82.69% with average asking rents of $22.08 per sf, according to Richard Bowers & Co.’s latest research. A total 1.67 million sf is vacant.

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