Atlanta real estate company Selig Enterprises Inc. continues its shift from being known as just an investor, adding former Tishman Speyer leasing and development executive Chris Ahrenkiel.

 

Ahrenkiel joins the 100-year-old company as executive vice president of commercial leasing and development. He will lead office development, acquisitions and commercial leasing for Selig’s development division, which it launched a little more than a year ago.

The move follows the death of the division’s former president Scott Selig, who led the company’s expansion into more development in 2016. At the time, Selig said of the company’s portfolio, “I truly believe we have the best property in this city hands down for the next 30 years. We have the opportunity to finally be what we can be.”

Selig, who had been diagnosed with cancer, was recruiting Ahrenkiel before the new development division was announced. Both were board members on the Commercial Board of Realtors, where Selig encouraged Ahrenkiel to become more involved in the community. Ahrenkiel has since joined the board of Invest Atlanta, the city’s Atlanta’s economic and community development arm.

“Scott was not shy about selling his vision,” Ahrenkiel said in a release. “You couldn’t help being drawn in.”

Ahrenkiel immediately boosts Selig’s plans as a developer, after decades of assembling a portfolio of high-profile sites.

There’s the nearly 4 acres on West Peachtree for a new mixed-use project including a more than 30-story tower, and 80 acres in the emerging Upper Westside of Buckhead, a destination for loft office and the city’s hottest restaurants. Other properties include Ansley Mall, Buckhead shopping centers, acres on intown corridors such Cheshire Bridge Road, and established Atlanta restaurants and nightspots such as Smith’s Olde Bar, the White House Restaurant, Silver Skillet and The Colonnade.

Ahrenkiel began his career in commercial leasing with Trizec Properties, then spent the past 11 years with Tishman Speyer. He led the Atlanta office as managing director, where he helped bring the 30-story Three Alliance Center to more than 90 percent leased.

The tower boasts some of the highest rental rates in Atlanta. It sold earlier this month for about $535 per square foot, setting an Atlanta record.

Tishman Speyer was seen as taking a big risk when it started work on Three Alliance more than three years ago. At the time, Buckhead was still shaking off the effects of over-development in the previous real estate cycle.

“He filled up Three Alliance when many doubted that it could be done,” said Lawrence Gellerstedt IV, who leads Cushman & Wakefield’s Atlanta office tenant representation practice. “Think about the brand he’s built on the landlord side. He has made a career of selling creative ideas that were ahead of their time.”

Ahrenkiel joins a Selig team that includes chief development officer Steve Baile; chief investment officer Matt Rendle, formerly of Jamestown; and senior vice president of development Malloy Peterson, formerly of Carter.

The company is developing several major projects including:

The Works at Chattahoochee, an 80-acre adaptive reuse development in Atlanta’s Upper Westside.

1105 West Peachtree, a mixed-use, high-rise development in Midtown.

1125 Peachtree Street, a mixed-use, high-rise development.

Selig Enterprises is positioned to be one of the city’s most active developers over the next decade.

“A lot of conversations are meant to stay between a father and a son,” Steve Selig, the company’s president and chairman, said in a release. “However, it was Scott’s vision and leadership that won me over. He was adamant about expanding our portfolio though both acquisitions and development, and he knew the key was adding team members that could create and execute on those opportunities. Chris [Ahrenkiel] is a tremendous addition to this team — to Scott’s team.”