Real Estate

TerraCap Faces Foreclosure on $20.3M Loan for 159,000 Sq. Ft. Atlanta Office

TerraCap's $20.3M Loan Default Leads to Foreclosure of 159,000-Sq-Ft Dunwoody Office Building

By Doug Elli

5/23, 12:03 EDT
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Key Takeaway

  • TerraCap faces foreclosure on a 159,000 sq. ft. office building in Dunwoody after defaulting on a $20.3 million loan.
  • Atlanta's office market struggles with high vacancy rates, reaching 24.6% metro-wide and 24.5% in the Central Perimeter submarket.
  • TerraCap also relinquished two Alpharetta properties to Synovus Bank, highlighting broader distress due to remote work trends and rising interest rates.

Office Distress in Atlanta's North Suburbs

The Atlanta office market is facing significant distress, particularly in its northern suburbs. A prime example is the five-story, 159,000-square-foot building at 200 Ashford Center North in Dunwoody, which is set to hit the auction block on June 4. Chicago-based lender NXT Capital has moved to foreclose on the property after its owner, an affiliate of Florida-based TerraCap Management, failed to pay off a $20.3 million loan. TerraCap had acquired the building in 2019 for $24.6 million, or roughly $154 per square foot, when it was 85 percent leased. The current occupancy rate remains unclear, but the financial troubles reflect broader challenges in the office market, exacerbated by remote work trends and rising interest rates.

The Broader Impact of Office Market Challenges

The distress in the office market is not isolated to Dunwoody. The Atlanta metro area has seen its office vacancy rate climb to 24.6 percent in the first quarter, up 2 percent year-over-year, according to Savills. Even Class A properties, which have generally fared better post-pandemic, are experiencing high vacancy rates, with about 35 percent of space vacant. This trend is mirrored in other markets as well. For instance, in San Francisco, Presidio Bay Ventures recently surrendered a dual office project in the South of Market area to its lender after defaulting on a loan. These cases highlight the widespread financial strain on office assets across major U.S. cities.

TerraCap's Struggles and Market Dynamics

TerraCap's difficulties extend beyond the Dunwoody property. The firm recently relinquished two other office buildings in Alpharetta—Deerfield Point and Windward Pointe 200—to lender Synovus Bank after defaulting on debt payments. TerraCap had acquired these buildings in 2017 for over $47 million, but the deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure transaction valued the combined 340,000 square feet of office space at just $23.7 million, or under $70 per square foot. This significant devaluation underscores the severe impact of current market conditions on property values. The Central Perimeter submarket, which includes Dunwoody, has an office vacancy rate of 24.5 percent, further illustrating the challenges faced by office property owners in the region.

My Perspective on the Office Market Crisis

The ongoing distress in the office market, particularly in suburban areas like Dunwoody, is a clear indication of the shifting dynamics in commercial real estate. The rise of remote work has fundamentally altered demand for office space, leading to increased vacancy rates and financial strain on property owners. TerraCap's struggles are emblematic of a broader trend affecting many real estate investors and developers. However, there are contrasting viewpoints on the future of office spaces. Some believe that as companies adopt hybrid work models, there will be a resurgence in demand for well-located, amenity-rich office spaces. This perspective is supported by recent transactions, such as Innova Solutions' purchase of a building in Dunwoody, indicating selective optimism in the market.