Downtown's Historic Grant Building to be returned to 'former prominence'

September 29,2017

Source: Douglas Sams, Atlanta Business Chronicle

Downtown’s The Grant Building has a new owner that wants to restore the historic Fairlie-Poplar district property to its former prominence.

A partnership between Colorado real estate companies Kramer Real Estate Investments LLC and H2 Capital bought The Grant Building for $7.9 million. The transaction closed on Sept. 18, according to Fulton County property records. The building's previous owner filed for bankruptcy last January.

Kramer Real Estate’s Brandon Kramer said the partnership could invest another $7 million to upgrade and lease-up the building. It’s hired Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (JLL) to assist on the turnaround.

The modernization would still retain the building’s authentic features such as marble finishing.

The Grant Building sale comes as south downtown is on the cusp of a redevelopment boom led by groups such as Newport U.S. RE and Underground Atlanta owner WRS Inc.

Kramer drew parallels between the resurgence of Denver’s and Atlanta’s downtowns.

“In Denver, I saw the pullback to suburbia, a realization that suburban rents were too high, and then a rush back to the downtown core,” he said. “I fully expect the same thing is happening here in Atlanta. I believe we are positioning ourselves to be in the path of a similar gentrification back to downtown.”

The Grant Building has a more than 100-year history in downtown Atlanta. It was designed by the local architectural firm of Alexander Bruce & Thomas Henry Morgan and built by Grant Wilkins, said Kyle Kessler, an architect and downtown community leader.

The property at 44 Broad Street NW was originally known as the Prudential Building. Completed in 1898, it was one of Atlanta’s first steel-framed “skyscrapers.”

It occupies the same part of downtown as the Flatiron Building, another historic project developed in the late 1800s that has since been renovated.

“This is a district filled old, authentic buildings with wonderful features,” said A.J. Robinson, president of Central Atlanta Progress. “It’s good to see The Grant Building getting fresh investment of new capital to make it attractive once again.”

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