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ATLANTA-San Diego-based Equastone has entered the Georgia market with the acquisition of the Equitable Building, a 624,642-sf class A office building at 100 Peachtree St. The acquisition included the office tower and three parking structures on four separate sites.

The seller, IRP Lincoln Atlanta Associates, LLC, was represented by Resource Real Estate Partners, LLC. Equastone represented itself. The acquisition price was not released, but Equastone executive vice president Clint Harrington tells GlobeSt.com it was northwards of $50 million and 40% of the building’s replacement cost.

The property’s Downtown location is among reasons it was acquired. It is located in the Fairlie-Poplar section close to Georgia State University, Centennial Olympic Park, CNN Center and World of Coca-Cola Museum. The Peachtree Center and Five Points Marta stations are within walking distance. Equastone believes Downtown rental rates are low compared to competing areas in the city.

“We see Atlanta as such as hot market for growth,” Harrington says. “Right now it’s the low-cost alternative to Midtown and Buckhead. The Equitable Building has long been a landmark for Downtown.”

The building is currently 54% occupied. Equastone plans to invest more than $4 million in capital improvements to the building over the next year, including a renovation of the lobby and common areas, modernization of the elevator and mechanical systems and enhancements to the exterior. Although the building has long been known as the Equitable Building, a new anchor tenant will have the opportunity to rename the building.

Equastone CIO Jeff Schindler tells GlobeSt.com that Equastone has acquired $200 million in property thus far in 2007 with a goal of acquiring $1 billion in office and flex properties throughout the US by the end of the year. The company hopes to acquire one million sf of space in Atlanta by year’s end. “We are aggressively pursuing opportunities in Atlanta and the rest of the Southeast,” Schindler says.

In reaching toward its $1-billion acquisition goal this year, Equastone recently made its second Oregon buy this year, with a $68-million portfolio buy , as GlobeSt.com previously reported.

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