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ATLANTA-Locally based commercial real estate firm Carter has been hired to market the 20-story Atlanta Center office tower for sale or lease. The search for a new owner or tenants will get under way next year when SunTrust Banks Inc. makes its planned move to nearby Peachtree Center.

Atlanta Center, with 362,340 square feet at 250 Piedmont Ave., is owned by Westmont Hospitality Group and is net-leased to SunTrust through 2010. SunTrust signed a 252,822-square-foot lease in May at Peachtree Center’s Marquis II building for its Enterprise Information Services division, with occupancy to begin in 2011.

“Atlanta Center offers the largest block of contiguous space in the Downtown submarket,” says Mike Shelly, senior vice president of Carter’s project leasing team. “Because it is a lower-cost alternative to other Downtown office buildings, Atlanta Center is ideal for a state or local government agency and other cost-conscious tenants.”

Shelly will work with Carter senior associate Sonia Winfield on leasing Atlanta Center space, while senior vice president Gary Lee and vice president Andrew Murphy will simultaneously try to sell the building. Marketing efforts may include converting the offices to student housing for nearby Georgia State University.

Atlanta Center is connected to the Atlanta Hilton by a covered walkway and has a broad range of amenities including two restaurants, a swimming pool and a fitness center. Its proximity to the Downtown Connector gives it high visibility and puts it within walking distance of several local attractions including the Georgia Aquarium and Philips Arena.

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