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ATLANTA-Boca Raton, FL-based Crocker Partners LLC has staked a claim in the metropolitan market with the acquisition of Cumberland Center II for $56 million. The 407,000-sf, 17-story class A office building is at 3100 Cumberland Blvd.

The acquisition signals the company’s market entry into Atlanta, where vice president Christopher Eachus will head its regional office. Cumberland Center II is approximately 51% occupied with two tenants, SITA and Thompson Partners, which recently signed an 80,000-sf lease. The acquisition cost, at 50 to 55% of replacement cost, is consistent with Crocker Partners’ investment strategy of acquiring properties where the company can add value.

The strategically located office building is at the intersection of Interstate 75 and Interstate 285 and has easy access to many parts of Atlanta including Cobb County, the airport, Buckhead, Midtown and Central Perimeter.

Eachus says the Atlanta market is a focus for the company’s portfolio. Company principals have been active in the metro area for a number of years through REIT CRT Properties Inc. prior to forming Crocker Partners in 2005. “We believe the overall improving Atlanta office market, along with the strong infrastructure and growing amenity base at the Cumberland/Galleria submarket, provides a strong backdrop to lease up Cumberland Center II,” Eachus says.

In addition to Atlanta, the company is targeting investment in value-add and opportunistic office and mixed-use projects in Florida and Charlotte, NC.

Codina Realty Services Inc. managing director Keith O’Donnell and senior associate Jay Whelchel negotiated the transaction. O’Donnell says the sale is reflective of continued strength in the investment markets in both Atlanta and South Florida. The company also recently handled the sale of IBM’s 825,000-sf facility at 4111 Hillside Lakeside on Atlanta’s Northside Parkway. “The South Florida and Atlanta markets have many corporate connections, with direct travel between the two,” O’Donnell says. “The quality of assets in both markets drives institutional investor interest.”

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