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ATLANTA-Savannah-based Melaver Inc., a former grocery chain owner, is entering the metro area’s commercial development arena with the $5-million purchase of Griffin Co.’s prime 1.46-acre site at 1820 Peachtree St. in the Buckhead submarket, the company confirmed Thursday afternoon. Melaver also has an option to purchase a two-acre site directly across from 1820 Peachtree, informed sources tell GlobeSt.com.

At about $3.42 million per acre, or $78.61 per sf, the 1820 Peachtree acquisition is one of the highest per-acre prices paid for developable land in the metro area in recent years, according to GlobeSt.com research. Griffin bought the land in 2003 for $2.75 million or about $1.83 million per acre ($42.08 per sf).

In a prepared statement, Colin Coyne, Melaver’s chief operating officer, says his company is partnering with locally based Urban Realty Partners on what informed sources say will be a mixed-use venture, possibly comprising office, retail and condo space. Urban Realty will be the development partner in the joint venture.

Coyne says Melaver and Urban Realty have not decided what the highest and best use for the 1.46-acre tract will be. A 5,000-sf Wendy’s restaurant is the only commercial enterprise located on the land. Any new development on the site is at least a year away from groundbreaking, Downtown brokerage sources familiar with comparable Buckhead projects tell GlobeSt.com.

The site is in the Brookwood neighborhood of south Buckhead where Griffin Co. once planned an 11-story office condo complex, area brokers tell GlobeSt.com. “We are looking to expand our involvement in Atlanta and are excited to have a partner with the development capabilities of Urban Realty Partners,” Coyne says in his statement. “Our goal is to develop properties in the communities we serve, that meet a triple-bottom line–projects that are environmentally, socially and financially sustainable.” He adds, “This project is a perfect fit for our development strategy.”

In the same statement, Mark Riley, managing partner of Urban Realty Partners, says the site is “a good investment for a future development…well-suited for any number of uses, from residential to retail to office space, so we wanted to make an investment in the neighborhood that will be beneficial for Atlanta and serve as a positive location for us.”

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