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ATLANTA-AGL Resources has leased 17 floors, representing about 200,000 sf of Ten Peachtree Place. The lease brings the 19-story, 260,000-sf Midtown building to 92% occupancy.

The Atlanta-based gas distribution and energy company will consolidate its area operations and staff of about 550 employees in the new headquarters. The move date is scheduled for first-quarter 2003.

According to published reports, the long-awaited AGL selection was obtained at a bargain $14.75 per sf. Brokers familiar with the property and the tenant tell GlobeSt.com the significant discount is based on AGL’s prestige and creditworthiness along with the area’s low occupancy rate.

Class A office properties in midtown average between $20 per sf and $21 per sf, although brokers tell GlobeSt.com that discounting is common.

Prior to the AGL lease, all but two floors of the building near West Peachtree and 10th streets were reportedly empty. The property is owned by a 50/50 joint-venture partnership of Atlanta-based Cousins Properties and a Coca-Cola subsidiary.

A Cousins representative tells GlobeSt.com the $15-per-sf-rent is not accurate but declines to disclose the accurate figure.

AGL Resources and its telecommunications subsidiary, AGL Networks, occupy two floors of the Biltmore in midtown, which AGL will sublet. AGL’s largest subsidiary, Atlanta Gas Light Co., occupies several buildings on a 34-acre campus on Caroline Street in Little Five Points.

That site has been sold to St. Petersburg, FL-based Sembler Co., a shopping center developer. Sembler could not be reached for comment.

Melanie Platt, AGL senior vice president, says in a printed statement, the company “conducted an exhaustive search for the right headquarters building for our company and its employees. This move will enable us to achieve cost and resource efficiencies.”

She referred to the adjacent MARTA station and said, “we are encouraging our employees to use public transportation.”

John Izard and Ian Henderson of Cushman & Wakefield’s Atlanta office represented AGL in the search and transaction. AGL has hired Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum to assist with the office design. Ten Peachtree Place was designed by Architect Michael Graves and completed in 1989.

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