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ATLANTA-In a fast-track, four-month deal that satisfied all of the players, GE Consumer Finance bought out a 10-year, class A office lease from E*Trade and then leased the five-story, 203,000-sf 4125 Windward Plaza Dr. building from owner Holder Properties for 10 years.

The three-year-old North Fulton County building had sat empty for two years while E*Trade, an online brokerage, tried unsuccessfully to sublease the space. E*Trade had seven years left on its lease and was paying rent to Holder, even though it didn’t occupy the space. North Fulton office vacancy rates are in the 30% range.

“All parties to this transaction were winners,” CB Richard Ellis Inc. senior vice president Rob Metcalf tells GlobeSt.com. “GE secured an ideal solution for an attractive price. Holder Properties secured a great credit long-term tenant. And E*Trade was relieved of a long-term financial obligation.”

The value of GE Consumer’s lease wasn’t disclosed. But area brokers familiar with the North Fulton County submarket tell GlobeSt.com the estimated aggregate value of the deal is $34.5 million, based on average effective rent of $17 per sf. Average asking class A rent in the North Fulton submarket is $18 per sf. The value of GE’s lease buyout from E*Trade was also undisclosed.

Metcalf says Atlanta’s office market and North Fulton particularly is “incredibly soft. Large subleases and significant vacancies in new North Fulton projects have created unparalleled opportunities for all tenants in the marketplace.”

GE Consumer Finance is consolidating three Atlanta area offices and will be moving about 300 employees to the Windward Plaza Dr. quarters beginning this summer. The departments that will occupy the space are customer service, marketing, information service, collections and human resources.

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