ALPHARETTA, GA-On an expansion track, the 1,900-employee Microtek Medical Holdings of Columbus, MS is moving its corporate headquarters to this suburban area. The medical supplies company is leasing 20,198 sf at Highwoods Center at Deerfield III.

Although Microtek was scouting the metro Atlanta area for suitable space, Highwoods broker John Grimsley IV sold the manufacturer on the Highwoods Property building and signed the tenant to a 10-year lease aggregately valued at $3.2 million. The transaction brings the occupancy at the two-year-old, 53,615-sf, single-story Deerfield III to 66%.

Rick Lackey of City Commercial Real Estate negotiated for the tenant. Average asking base rent in the GA 400 submarket is $14 to $15 per sf, full service for single-story office buildings.

The deal took 30 days to complete, from contract signing to closing. There were no special environmental or governmental hurdles to overcome before closing the deal, Grimsley tells Microtek will be relocating about 50 management and staff employees from its Mississippi office and about 20 workers from its Norcross location. The company plans to complete the relocation by December.

Despite an overall class A office vacancy of 27.8% in the North Fulton County submarket, Grimsley says the area near the building’s location at GA 400 and the Fulton-Forsyth County line is active and busy with new lease signings.

“North Fulton remains healthy due to the quality of life, schools and ample supply of homes,” the broker says. “We are seeing an uptick in job growth among small to medium-size businesses and at Fortune 500 companies in this area.”

Grimsley projects such job growth “will result in additional [office] space for these companies. We have signed several recent deals with companies relocating from other cities to Atlanta and more specifically to the North Fulton submarket.”

Atlanta-based Colliers Cauble Co. is also high on the North Fulton submarket despite the high vacancy number. Positive net absorption in the quarter was almost a half million sf. “A multitude of deals, ranging from 10,000 sf to 50,000 sf were the source of for North Fulton’s improvement,” says Colliers Cauble research director Scott Amoson.

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