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NORCROSS, GA-A prime 110-acre suburban tract, 10 miles north of Downtown Atlanta, could be sold by year end for between $50 million and $100 million–but the entire deal could founder if Gwinnett County commissioners fail to approve new zoning regulations Nov. 22, persons in a position to know tell GlobeSt.com.

Current height restrictions for hotel, office and condominium ventures are capped at three stories or 40 feet. Elected officials are being asked by various developer representatives to rewrite the regulations to allow projects over 25 stories.

The county’s proposed new guidelines would limit height to 25 stories. The 17-story Marriott at Gwinnett Place on Pleasant Hill Road is the county’s tallest building. The tallest structure in Atlanta is the 55-story Bank of America building on Peachtree Street Downtown.

Meanwhile, OFS Brightwave Inc., the US division of Tokyo-based Furukawa Electric co. Ltd., has been trying since February to sell 110 acres of its 170-acre property at the corner of Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Interstate 85. Brightwave, an optical fiber manufacturer, wants to keep 60 acres for itself and also continue operating its plant, brokers familiar with the property tell GlobeSt.com.

“That could be a deal breaker for a developer who might be envisioning an Atlantic Station-type of project on the site,” a broker representing a Midtown developer tells GlobeSt.com.

The new rules would permit high-rise and mixed-use developments near selected areas around the 1.9-million-sf Mall of Georgia, the 1.24-million-sf Gwinnett Place Mall, the Sugarloaf area and Jimmy Carter Boulevard near I-85 and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.

Brokers familiar with the bidding for the Brightwave land during the 10-month marketing period tell GlobeSt.com potential buyers have offered up to $55 million, or about $500,000 per acre ($11.48 per sf), for the manufacturing plant property. Those numbers compare to the $76-million Atlantic Station co-developer James F. Jacoby paid for the 138-acre former steel mill property in 1997, as GlobeSt.com previously reported.

Gwinnett County real estate records show Furukawa bought the 2.9-million-sf, 35-year-old OFS Brightwave plant in 2001 from Lucent Technologies for about $2.3 billion. For tax purposes, the property is assessed at $27 million.

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