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MetLife forecloses on Mansell Overlook | Business

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MetLife forecloses on Mansell Overlook
MetLife forecloses on Mansell Overlook

ROSWELL, Ga. -- MetLife Inc. has foreclosed on Roswell's Colonial Center at Mansell Overlook for more than $80 million, according to Fulton County records and Databank Inc.

The foreclosure, completed in December, includes the development's four mid-rise office buildings and its retail properties. The project went back to MetLife for about $82.5 million, according to Databank, an Atlanta firm that covers commercial real estate transactions.

Mansell Overlook got caught in a highly competitive north Fulton market and the slow rebound in job growth after the downturn.

In 2006, near the height of the commercial real estate boom, Birmingham, Ala.-based Colonial Properties Trust completed a $166.4 million joint venture, sale and long-term management and leasing assignment deal with UBS Wealth Management for Mansell Overlook.

The suburban mixed-use complex includes four six-story office buildings, five low-rise buildings and two street-front boutique shops.

At the time, it was 98 percent leased.

Colonial retained a 15 percent interest in the joint venture until 2009, when it got out of the deal. It was the fifth joint venture that year Colonial had unwound and exited in an attempt to simplify its business, eliminate near-term debt and return to its core focus -- apartments.

Mansell Overlook suffered several blows since 2006.

First, ACE USA, one of its largest office tenants at more than 86,000 square feet, relocated to Alpharetta.

Later, the slow recovery in job growth following the recession hurt leasing activity in north Fulton, and steep concessions in the market made it more difficult to compete for tenants.

Then, in late 2011, software developer Verint Systems Inc. said it was relocating its metro Atlanta office to 800 Northpoint Parkway in Alpharetta, where it was going to expand. Verint had leased about 96,500 square feet.

MetLife could hold onto Mansell Overlook, lease it up and regain some of its value over the next few years. It would be in a relatively good position, if the economy picks up and more suburban corporate tenants seek better access to Highway 120, the Georgia 400 corridor and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to the south.

(Atlanta Business Chronicle)