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ATLANTA-With the imminent sale of its first office building at Atlantic Station, New York City-based AIG Global Real Estate Investment Corp. has broken ground on One Market Street. The new project will deliver a 17-story, 350,000-sf class A building being immediately behind the one-year-old 171-17th St. Building.

In a prepared statement, John Whitaker, managing director of AIG Global Real Estate and CEO of Atlantic Station, says the newer building is expected to be ready for occupancy by spring 2007. At the same time, locally based Carter says it is negotiating with the Atlanta law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP to lease about 105,000 sf or 30% of the new building. A representative for Atlantic Station declined to disclose the estimated development cost of the new structure or the length of the lease being negotiated.

However, area construction sources familiar with the development of the first office building at Atlantic Station tell GlobeSt.com the second building will probably have a hard construction cost of about $175 per sf or a total $61 million. The first building was constructed for about $150 per foot, as GlobeSt.com previously reported.

The lease being negotiated with the law firm is said to be in the 15-year range at an effective rent of about $25 per sf. If completed at those terms, the estimated aggregate value of the lease would be about $39 million, Midtown brokers say.

That would make the deal one of the largest office leasing transactions of the year. Nelson Mullins, with 175 lawyers, would occupy the building’s top five floors. The law firm currently leases space at 999 Peachtree St.

Whitaker’s office didn’t respond to GlobeSt.com’s request for comment on the speculated sale of the first office building. The price–speculated at $163 million or about $320.23 per sf–would be the second highest per-sf price recorded in the past two years in metro Atlanta. The 509,000-sf asset is 98% leased.

Locally based Cousins Properties Inc. and an affiliate of Maryland-based Stonebridge Associates sold the six-year-old, 98%-leased, building to TIAA-CREF for $145 million.

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