ATLANTA-Construction has started on Phipps Tower, a $175-million, 486,000-sf office tower in Buckhead on a site bordered by Peachtree Road, Lenox Road and Phipps Boulevard. The 20-story tower, being developed by Charlotte, NC-based Crescent Resources LLC and Canadian-based Manulife Financial, will be linked to the Phipps Plaza mixed use development. It is expected to be completed in January 2010.

The tower will have parking for more than 1,100 cars and covered pedestrian access to Phipps Plaza. The five-level parking deck will provide direct access to tower elevators from each level. Lobby-level amenities include a restaurant, café and convenience shop.

Crescent vice president John Bell, who is the director of leasing for the project, has been in discussions with several prospective tenants. “The market is very active right now,” Bell says. “We’ve identified more than 500,000 sf of qualified prospects presently in the market and another two million sf in lease expirations within the project’s leasing period.”

In addition to Phipps Plaza, the tower will be adjacent to the Ritz-Carlton at Buckhead. It is one block away from Georgia 400 and can be entered from Lenox Road, Peachtree Road and Phipps Boulevard. “The location is a tremendous advantage,” says Bell. “The vacancy rate for buildings on the Buckhead Loop is a low 6%.”

The project has been registered with the US Green Building Council for LEED certification. The building will feature energy efficient air and lighting systems, water and plumbing conservation systems and enhanced air quality measures.

Crescent has developed class A office projects in Gwinnett, North Fulton, Cobb and Douglas counties. Manulife, which entered the Atlanta equity real estate market in 1998, has an Atlanta portfolio totaling more than three million sf including Phipps Tower.

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