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Coca-Cola to Vacate Griffin-Owned Office Tower

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) announced plans to relocate 500 employees from 2500 Windy Ridge in the Atlanta-suburb of Marietta, GA, to downtown Atlanta where the company was founded, as reported this week by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

2500 Windy Ridge is a 16-story building located in the Wildwood Office Park in Cobb County. Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT purchased the property for $56.7 million in November 2013 as part of an 18-property portfolio.

According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle article, Coca-Cola is the property’s sole tenant, and their departure will leave the building without an occupant. However, Coca-Cola, whose lease doesn’t expire until 2018, has indicated that their departure will likely occur after Griffin has secured a replacement tenant.

In June 2013, Coca-Cola announced plans to relocate thousands of its employees as part of an ongoing process to create a centralized information technology center at SunTrust Plaza’s Garden Offices in downtown Atlanta.

A Coca-Cola spokesperson explained, “More than 2,000 workers have already relocated to our downtown locations. Through these efforts we have gained greater efficiency in our real estate footprint and now maintain underutilized space at the 2500 Windy Ridge location.”

Griffin has apparently hired Stream Realty to market the 322,000-square-foot property to prospective tenants. Any impact on the REIT is unknown. A request to Griffin for additional information went unanswered.