Morgan Stanley JV raises ‘green’ office tower in Atlanta

A joint venture between Morgan Stanley and Duke Energy is partnering with Canada’s Manulife Financial on a 20-story LEED-designed office building in Atlanta’s Buckhead business district.

Crescent Resources, the joint venture between Morgan Stanley Real Estate and Duke Energy, and Toronto-based Manulife Financial have broken ground on the $175 million ($113 million) Phipps Tower in Atlanta, Georgia, a 20-story office building that will connect to the Phipps Plaza mixed-use development.

The 20-story, 486,000-square-foot building has been registered with the US Green Building Council for LEED certification. It will include energy efficient air and lighting systems, water and plumbing conservation systems, and enhanced air quality measures.

Located in one of Atlanta’s most important business districts, the Phipps Tower is connected by covered pedestrian access to more than 100 high-end retail shops and restaurants at Phipps Plaza. The property is also located across from the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead Hotel and will feature a terraced garden plaza as well as approximately 1,100 parking units.

Crescent has been an active player in the Atlanta commercial real estate market, developing Class A office buildings and business parks in Gwinnett, north Fulton, Cobb, Douglas, and Forsyth counties. It is also developing two high-end country club communities in Gwinnett County, The River Club and Sugarloaf Country Club, home of the PGA’s AT&T Classic.

The Phipps Tower is slated to open in January 2010.