Atlanta Life seeks buyer for HQ building on Auburn Avenue

By Maria Saporta

The Atlanta Life Financial Group today announced plans to sell its headquarters building on Auburn Avenue.

It has retained Red Rock Global and Colliers International to privately market the building to potential buyers.

The five-story building, constructed in 1980, is owned debt-free by Atlanta Life, which would remain as the building’s anchor tenant.

“As Atlanta Life Financial Group continues its transformation into a diversified financial services company, it behooves the company to monetize its considerable equity in its property,” said William A. Clement, Atlanta Life’s president and CEO, in a statement. “As a result of this assessment, the company has decided to sell its headquarters building as a means to generate capital to grow its respective business units.”

Egbert L.J. Perry, a developer who also serves as chairman of Atlanta Life, said the sale is consistent with the company’s real estate goals and objectives. The building originally was designed as a single-tenant building, and that it needs to be updated to accommodate more than one tenant.

“The time and capital needed to reconfigure the building to convert it into a competitive multi-tenant building would only counteract the effort to grow the subsidiaries,” Perry said.

Atlanta Life is a 105-year old company that historically served the African-American community’s life insurance needs during the days of segregation.

Over the years it has diversified, and it now has four operating units: Herndon Capital Management; Jackson Securities; Atlanta Life Insurance Co.; and Atlanta Life General Agency.

The company’s majority shareholder — the Herndon Foundation — supports Atlanta Life’s decision to sell the building, according to William J. Stanley III, who chairs the foundation.

Now the question is what will happen to the Atlanta Life’s historic headquarters building on the same block, just a bit further east than the more modern structure. The attractive yellow-brick building served as Atlanta Life’s home from 1936 to 1980. It has been vacant for years.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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