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ATLANTA-A partnership between Rubenstein Properties Fund LP, an affiliate of Philadelphia-based Rubenstein Partners, and locally based Barry Real Estate Cos. has acquired a three-million-sf class A office portfolio for more than $500 million. The properties, which are located in Atlanta’s Central Perimeter submarket, were acquired from Chicago-based Equity Office.

As part of the transaction, Rubenstein Partners negotiated and executed the disposition of approximately 500,000 sf to two third-party buyers. Those transactions included the sale of 245 Perimeter Center to locally based Novare Development Group and 9000 Central Park to a joint venture of locally based Ackerman & Co. and Boston-based AEW Capital Management LP.

Under terms of the deal, Barry will manage and lease the properties. Equity operated with the Blackstone Group under the terms of their pending merger agreement.

The class A office assets acquired include the Terraces, a one-million-sf office building project located across from the Perimeter Mall; 7000 Central Park; Sterling Pointe I & II and 64 and 66 Perimeter Center East. The deal also included several redevelopment properties and two separate parcels that are ground leased.

“The acquisition of this portfolio fits squarely within our stated strategy to purchase assets ready for redevelopment in high-growth market,” Rubenstein Partners senior managing principal David Rubenstein.

The acquisition is the first in Atlanta and the second since the closing of the $475-million fund. The first acquisition, made late in 2006, was a development site in Westshore area of Tampa where the company plans to develop 450,000 sf of office space.

The portfolio acquisition is consistent with the fund’s focus on large, complex value-added office investments. The portfolio is 78% leased, located in a recovering submarket and offers the complexity and scale for Rubenstein to leverage its platform. “Atlanta has a great labor market and it has exceptional growth dynamics from an office investment perspective,” Rubenstein Partners managing principal Brian Lipson tells GlobeSt.com. “We like the Central Perimeter submarket because it is maturing very rapidly into an urban village with more fully integrated mixed uses.”

Lipson adds that plans for the class A office properties are to reposition the assets through capital improvements and remarketing efforts. “We’ll be making a significant investment in these properties,” Lipson says.

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