(Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Even as the developer of a 20-story officer tower under construction near Phipps Plaza in Buckhead faces a possible bankruptcy filing, the lender says it wants to see the project finished.

The $175 million Phipps Tower is scheduled to be done by spring 2010, according to the lender, Manulife Financial, Canada’s third largest public company.

Manulife said last week it “is committed to the completion of Phipps Tower,” which is held as a separately capitalized entity, Phipps Tower Associates LLC.

The developer, Charlotte-based Crescent Resources, said last year it would move ahead with the speculative project, even though three other unfinished Buckhead office towers had no tenants. But with prices and demand for office space pulled down by the recession, Crescent, like some other developers, now finds itself in a financial bind.

Speculation has been rampant within Atlanta’s commercial real estate community that Manulife would foreclose on the Phipps Tower project.

But Tina Acranis, an assistant vice president in Manulife’s real estate division, said in an e-mail that the project will be finished. She declined to comment on whether any tenants are signed.

Read Gertha Coffee’s full article “Lender still ‘committed’ to latest Buckhead tower” in the AJC (June 1, 2009).

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