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ATLANTA-The $2 billion, 138-acre Atlantic Station mixed-use Midtown redevelopment is revving up its retail leasing machine as indicated by the signing of Lakeland, FL-based Publix Supermarkets Inc. to a 30,312-sf lease and locally-based Metropolitan Deluxe to a 4,966-sf lease.

The Publix lease brings Atlantic Station’s total leased retail space to 387,701 sf among 10 tenants. The office component has leased 230,000 sf to two tenants.

Atlantic Station retail managing director Bruce Macleod doesn’t disclose the length of individual leases or the average asking rent range. But area brokers, intimate with the project and the retail leasing market, tell GlobeSt.com the Publix lease is believed to be for at least 15 years and the Metropolitan Deluxe lease for at least five years.

Atlanta retail brokers tell GlobeSt.com average asking rents at Atlantic Station are in the $20 to $25-per-sf range. Anchors such as Publix would be able to cut better deals, brokers tell GlobeSt.com.

Landing Publix was one of Macleod’s targets.

“An upscale grocer has always been part of our formula for creating a truly special place to live, work and play,” Macleod says. “Because Atlantic Station is an upscale shopping and dining experience, set in an outdoor urban environment, and not a mall, it is important to provide a place for people to do all of their shopping, including what’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Macleod tells GlobeSt.com “Midtown Atlanta is a wonderful opportunity for retailers” because “recent and planned residential and office growth is dynamic and adds to the area’s potential.” He adds Atlantic Station is “integral to the reconnection of Midtown, Downtown and Buckhead.”

Created by developer Jim Jacoby on the site of the former Atlantic Steel Mill at the intersections of Interstates 75 and 85, Atlantic Station is scheduled to open in late 2004.

Dillard’s of Little Rock, AR is the largest retail tenant signed to date. The department store will occupy 225,000 sf on three levels. The 104,839-sf, two-story Regal/United Artists Theatre (16 screens) is the second largest tenant. Other tenants are Claddagh Irish Pub, 8,115 sf; Moe’s Southwest Grill, 2,489 sf; Mama Fu’s Noodle House, 2,467 sf; California Pizza Kitchen, 5,193 sf; Marble Slab creamery, 1,350 sf; and Eye Gallery, 2,970 sf.

In office leasing, the Atlanta-based Arnall Golden Gregory law firm is taking 135,000 sf for its 130-lawyer staff; and SouthTrust Bank is leasing 95,000 sf for its 300 employees.

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