ATLANTA-After owning, leasing and managing the 85,000-sf, nine-year-old Piedmont Court in Buckhead for the last nine years, Kaufman Realty Group founder and president Craig Kaufman has decided to turn the leasing component over to locally based Richard Bowers & Co. Terms of the contract weren’t disclosed.

The three-building office campus is 94% leased at average asking base rent of $17 per sf. “Even in this period of a weak economy and soft office market, we’ve managed to keep our buildings full,” says Kaufman. “I have a great deal of personal pride in this property, which has been home to my own office for eight years now.”

A real estate analyst and appraiser with an engineering education, Kaufman says he founded his company in 1994 with a single goal in mind: “To find niche opportunities in real estate upon which my investor partners could capitalize.”

The firm specializes in the small to mid-size office tenant market and manages 11 properties in the metro area. The company also has holdings in Charlotte, NC, Denver and Orlando.

“Several years ago, I discovered an untapped area of market demand, the small office tenant,” Kaufman says. “I found most office developers were constructing office buildings for large tenants. After all, there’s more glamour involved in the leasing and management of trophy buildings.”

However, he says that “by going against the grain, we implemented a market-driven business plan that took a different approach to office development. Why? Because small tenants are the fabric our domestic economy and no longer be overlooked.”

He adds, “The way we work is increasingly changing. Technology and multi-tasking means more can be done by fewer people. By having many tenants, we don’t have all of our eggs in one basket.”

Although not a mega-sized structure, Piedmont Court has logistic advantages over several properties in the Buckhead area, says Michael Howell, a Richard Bowers & Co. broker who will represent the property with colleague Grahame Wood.

For example, Piedmont Court has access at three locations, an amenity not often found in Buckhead, says Howell. The three mid-rise Piedmont Court buildings are at 3098 Piedmont Rd. with 43,000 sf; 3091 Maple Dr. and 3109 Maple Dr., each with 21,000 sf. The properties also offer free surface parking.

“Other properties in Buckhead frequently have only one means of entering or exiting the property and involve major surface streets prone to congestion during peak commuting times of the day,” Howell says. “The accessibility at Piedmont Road, Maple Drive and East Paces Ferry road distinguishes Piedmont Court from its competitors.”

Available tenant space ranges from 1,066 sf to 3,222 sf. Bowers’ research staff notes the Buckhead/Lenox office submarket leads metro Atlanta urban markets in overall occupancy and rental rates at 86.18% and $24.90 per sf.

“The decision to retain Richard Bowers & Co. was part of Kaufman Realty Group’s strategy of leveraging third-party brokerage relationships that enable them to focus on growing their core business of real estate investment and management,” says Howell. Kaufman says his firm’s decision to retain Bowers was “largely based on the enthusiasm and perseverance” of Howell and Wood.

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