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Atlanta Hawks partners want key downtown building near Gulch

Development partners with ties to the Atlanta Hawks are in talks to acquire a key building vital to the redevelopment of south downtown and the Gulch, four people familiar with the matter told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The people said an affiliate of Los Angeles-based CIM Group wants to acquire the former Norfolk Southern railroad building at Spring and Nelson streets, a move that offers a glimpse into an expanding, but still secretive plan by the partners to revitalize the city’s core.

It’s unclear when or if a deal for the building will close.

The $192M renovation is expected to include a court-side club and a barbershop.

The eight-story complex is more than a mile walk south of the arena near the Richard B. Russell Federal Building, suggesting the franchise’s partners have a more expansive real estate footprint in mind than just the immediate area of Philips Arena.

A spokeswoman for Norfolk Southern declined to comment, citing policy on real estate matters.

CIM Group founder Richard Ressler did not immediately return messages seeking comment. Ressler is the brother of Hawks lead owner Tony Ressler.

Attempts to contact a Hawks representative were not immediately successful.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has said a deal to overhaul Philips Arena would lead to downtown redevelopment.

Norfolk Southern trains travels under the newly opened Mitchell Street Bridge in downtown Atlanta Thursday morning in Atlanta, Ga., August 23, 2012. The former Norfolk Southern office building downtown is visible to the right. AJC File Photo
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

CIM’s plans for the massive building aren’t clear, but the building could be prime for a Ponce City Market-style rehab into loft office space,…

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