Real Estate Pro Goes It Alone


DATE: June 29, 2004
PUBLICATION: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The (GA)
EDITION: Home; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
SECTION: Business

Bob Voyles, a captain of Southeastern real estate and the man behind King & Spalding’s new landmark Midtown skyscraper, is going it alone.

Voyles, for years the local face of Houston-based developer Hines, wants to reshape the metro area with innovative projects akin to Georgia Tech’s Technology Square or John Williams’ Post Riverside.

“Hines is best in class,” Voyles said, “but I want to focus more specifically on projects that have a greater impact on the community.”

Voyles, 52, will exit Hines on July 31. His new company, named Seven Oaks after trees in his back yard, will seek land deals and small office projects and build urban mixed-use developments, he said.

Voyles has been the driving force of marquee developments from Nashville to Peachtree Street, said Chip Davidson, chief executive of developers the Brookdale Group. Davidson recruited Voyles to quit a career at Alston & Bird and join Hines in 1988.

“It’s a good idea for him to go it alone,” Davidson said. “[But] it’s a real loss for Hines, and it will be tough to replace him.”

Kurt Hartman, 40, a 15-year veteran in Hines’ Chicago office, will move to Atlanta to take Voyles ‘ role, said John Heagy, a spokesman.

“We are all disappointed to lose Bob Voyles from the Hines team in Atlanta,” Heagy said.

Voyles was a relentless “pit bull” who persuaded King & Spalding to leave downtown for a new 41-story Hines tower at Peachtree and 14th streets, said Scott Arnold, a King & Spalding attorney involved in the deal.

Over his career at Hines, Voyles directed the firm’s 550-acre Deerfield Park project in Alpharetta, the three-tower Perimeter Summit site on I-285, and Hines’ 2001 acquisition of the Atlanta Financial Center in Buckhead.

Voyles insists he’s not retiring but entering a new phase of his professional life.

“I had a great law career. I did my military time. I had experience with the greatest real estate firm in the world,” Voyles said.