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ATLANTA-A local investment group has completed its purchase of the lower three floors in the 180 Peachtree Street building for a planned multi-tenant retail development serving the city’s central business district. Longtime residents recognize the 185,000-sf space as the site of Macy’s and Davison’s department stores.

As previously reported by GlobeSt.com on June 23, Davison’s Downtown LLC plans major renovations to the entire 535,000-sf building, which includes five upper floors of office space. The partnership of local investors and business leaders plans to invest a reported total $30 million into buying and renovating the 1920s-era structure, with previous owner Peachtree Carnegie LLC retaining the office component.

Davison’s Downtown, dba 180 Peachtree Retail Group LLC, intends to convert the long-vacant retail space into an indoor shopping complex serving Downtown Atlanta’s growing office, residential, convention and tourist populations. Cushman & Wakefield has been hired to handle leasing and marketing of the retail space, which will accommodate between 20 and 30 merchants and restaurants.

Robert Patterson, managing partner of 180 Peachtree Retail Group, calls the retail space “one of Atlanta’s treasures” and notes its proximity to newer hotels and office buildings. “The Macy’s/Davison’s store is part of Atlanta’s great history, and we can’t wait to bring it back to life,” Patterson stated in a release.

Davison’s operated the department store until 1985, when it was purchased by Federated Department Stores (now called Macy’s Inc.) and converted to the nationally recognized Macy’s brand. Macy’s closed the store in 2003 and the space has since been largely vacant.

Patterson’s group entered a contract to buy the old Macy’s space in December 2007 and secured financing from Wachovia Bank. The renovation project is already under way with a projected opening in fall 2009.

Kirk Williams, a retail broker with Cushman & Wakefield’s Atlanta office, previously told GlobeSt.com that 180 Peachtree should benefit from an estimated daytime population of 150,000 workers. He added that the project is “easily positioned to be the epicenter of the downtown resurgence from a retail perspective.”

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