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ATLANTA-Despite an overall vacancy of 18.7% and 1.8 million sf of class A office space available for rent in the affluent Buckhead submarket, Fort Worth-based Crescent Real Estate Equities has entered the metro market here with the $31-million purchase of Live Oak, a 13-year-old, 201,488-sf, 70%-leased structure. p>Crescent acquired the property for $154 per sf, a figure that compares with current replacement costs for a comparable property, local construction industry sources tell GlobeSt.com. Crescent declined to identify the seller, even though that information will appear in Cobb County public records eventually, according to a company representative.

However, GlobeSt.com research identifies the seller as locally based TMW-Prudential Real Estate Advisors. The building is formally known as One Live Oak located at 3475 Lenox Road NE. Crescent is also scouting for other properties in the Southeast, a region the Texas company has not previously considered.

“We are working to reinvest capital that was generated from recent strategic transactions,” says John C. Goff, vice chairman and CEO of the 10-year-old company. “The purchase of Live Oak marks our entry into the Atlanta market and is the result of diligent efforts to find core investments that offer long-term growth potential.”

Goff says Atlanta is attractive to Crescent “because it is one of the strongest growth markets in the country, with a very compelling office market recovery expected over the next several years.” He says the firm “will continue to look for accretive office investment opportunities where we can leverage Crescent’s award-winning leasing and management expertise.”

Through its subsidiaries and joint ventures, Crescent owns and manages a portfolio of 70 office buildings totaling 29 million sf, primarily located in Dallas, Houston, Austin, Denver, Miami and Las Vegas. The REIT is also invested in resorts and spas and high-end residential developments.

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