BIRMINGHAM, AL-Barry Real Estate Cos. of Atlanta and a fund managed by VEF Advisors LLC have acquired the 511,000-sf SouthTrust Tower for upward of $50 million. The 30-story building is about 80% occupied. About 40% of the building is leased by SouthTrust, one of the South’s major banks. Another 20% of the building is leased by Burr & Forman, a major area law firm. According to Jefferson County tax records, the seller was Equitable life assurance society, a unit of AXA group, and the North Sixty Associates.The acquisition was financed by GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp., which provided a $45-million, four-year floating-rate loan. The loan is slated for securitization, a source at GMAC tells GMAC structured the transaction around the impending rollover of two major-tenant leases and imposed a cash sweep to build a re-tenanting reserve after allowing for a preferential payment on the invested equity. The structure allowed GMAC to fund up to 80% of the initial acquisition costs and an additional commitment to cover future leasing costs. The total capitalization is $54.7 million, according to GMAC.According to published reports, the new owners plan to spend as much as $12 million on improvements, including renovations to the lobby and office spaces as well as repairs and upgrades to bathrooms, plumbing, HVAC, security and fire safety.

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