ATLANTA-Despite improved office vacancy rates that still hover around 20%, tenants shopping for space here have a wide array of choices at favorable rent ranges, Andrew Lechter, a newly named executive vice president in the local office of Studley, tells

“Every time a report is issued about the ‘bad’ state of the market, remember that these reports are viewed through the landlords’ perspective,” Lechter says. “Most businesses lease space, and for them, the current environment is very favorable, as the number of choices are quite high and the overall costs of occupancy are very low.”

The broker says a little-understood fact in the current market is that “many tenants are paying the same amount in rent per sf today as they were 10 or 15 years ago. Is there anything else which businesses buy in which this is the case?”

Lechter adds, “While the market may tighten somewhat, we do not expect the overall bias in favor of tenants to change.” He says “there are many new buildings being proposed by developers which will create additional space in the market, and therefore additional choices for tenants.”

Studley has named senior vice presidents Lechter and Michael Kim executive vice presidents to jointly direct the local office’s activities. Lechter, a real estate professional for 20 years, was named one of Studley’s Top 20 producers in 2003. His clients include SunTrust Bank, Bank of America, Carlton Fields and Stites & Harbison. He earned a bachelor’s of arts degree with honors from Vassar College and attended New York University’s Real Estate Institute.

Kim joined Studley in 1986 and was one of the company’s first recipients of the Board of Directors Award for Excellence in Service for his work with a national client. He has represented corporate clients on projects totaling over 5.4 million sf in his career to date. Kim received his degree in international business diplomacy from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

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