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ATLANTA-Two new office towers will open later this year in the Buckhead submarket amid the prospect of citywide vacancy in the 20% range, and at above-average asking rents. Two Alliance Center held its topping-out ceremony Wednesday in Buckhead, while Terminus 200 is scheduled to do the same Friday.

Two Alliance Center, an $85-million project by Tishman Speyer Properties at 3500 Lenox Road, is scheduled to open this summer, two years after commencing construction. The 20-story glass-clad building, which features a curved design similar to a sail, will contain 493,000 square feet with asking rents of $33 per square foot.

The 25-story Terminus 200 building, at 3333 Piedmont Road, is also set to open this summer with 565,000 square feet at a cost of $172.5 million. Its developers, Cousins Properties Inc. and Prudential Real Estate Investors, signed the building’s first two restaurant leases this past summer, III Forks steakhouse and gourmet Mexican restaurant Cantina Laredo.

GlobeSt.com reported last week that Atlanta’s metropolitan office vacancy finished 2008 at 19.5%, with 1.6 million square feet added during the fourth quarter and 3.5 million square feet currently under construction, including 2 million square feet in Buckhead, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. Asking rents stabilized over the past year at $21.71 per square foot, with class A space reaching at least $26 in Midtown and Buckhead.

“The statistics are actually better than we expected,” says Lanie Rea, research manager of JLL’s Atlanta office. “We’re not in as bad a position as we could be, and definitely not as bad as other metropolitan markets across the country.”

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