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ATLANTA-Colonial Properties Trust’s purchase of the Colonnade in Birmingham, AL puts the 564,120-sf property in the hands of a local owner for the first time. It also sets the stage for a major revitalization of the retail sector of the property.

The Colonnade encompasses 451,920 sf of office space in five buildings and 112,200 sf of retail space on nearly 100 acres at Interstate 459 and U.S. 280. The Shops of The Colonnade are 61% occupied and include a vacant movie theater. By contrast, the office space is 90% occupied.

S. Lee Robertson, Colonial’s senior vice president of finance, tells GlobeSt.com the trust will use its local market knowledge and area retail expertise, “to exploit the upside potential of the property’s retail sector.”

Colonial recently poured $50 million into an overhaul of nearby Colonial Brookfield Village, which it purchased a year ago, but company principals do not anticipate such a major overhaul for the Colonnade, a spokesman says.

Colonial paid $50 million for the complex, according to published reports, a figure Robertson would neither confirm nor deny. Funding for the purchase came primarily from Colonial’s $42 million sale of five multi-family apartment complexes in Alabama and Florida. With this purchase, Colonial Properties has 1.5 million sf of retail, one million sf of office, and 4,000 apartments in the Birmingham market in its portfolio.

The previous owner of the Colonnade is New York-based Apollo Real Estate Advisors LP. Atlanta-based Carter & Associates developed the property in 1989. It has had two owners since 1998, when CSL Colonnade Associates, a Carter joint venture company, sold it to Boca Raton, FL-based Kroger Equity Inc.

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