Cousins Properties Incorporated (NYSE: CUZ) announced today that CSC Associates - a partnership of Cousins and Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC) - has agreed to sell Bank of America Plaza in Atlanta to an affiliate of California-based BentleyForbes for $436 million or approximately $348 per square foot. Situated at the corner of North Avenue and Peachtree Street, the 55-story, 1.25-million-square-foot landmark is the tallest office building (1,023 feet) in the United States outside New York and Chicago. The transaction is in a due diligence period until August 3 and is expected to close in late August or early September. As part of the agreement, Cousins is expected to be retained to provide leasing and property management services.
"For years, Bank of America Plaza has been closely associated with our company, so we were delighted with the reception and interest it received from investors. The record-setting price speaks volumes about the singular nature of the building and the companies that call it home," said Tom Bell, president and CEO of Cousins Properties. "We're also proud our management team will stay in place to ensure the building's tenants and visitors will continue to receive the award-winning management services Cousins has always provided there."
At $436 million and $348 per square foot, the sales price sets new standards for the Atlanta office market. The previous single office building record was $300 million, which Sumitomo Life Realty paid for Midtown's One Atlantic Center in 1989. The previous per-square-foot record involved Cousins, when the company and a partner sold Buckhead's The Pinnacle for $343 per square foot in 2004.
Completed in 1992, Bank of America Plaza is home to many top businesses, including Bank of America, Troutman Sanders, Paul Hastings, Boston Consulting, Hunton & Williams and Ernst & Young.
Cousins Properties Incorporated, headquartered in Atlanta, has extensive experience in the real estate industry including the development, acquisition, financing, management and leasing of properties. The property types that Cousins actively invests in include office, multi-family, retail, industrial and land development projects. The Company's portfolio consists of interests in 7.4 million square feet of office space, 3.8 million square feet of retail space, 1.2 million square feet of industrial space, two multi-family residential projects and 24 single-family neighborhood developments, over 9,000 acres of strategically located land tracts for sale or future development, and significant land holdings for development of single-family residential communities. Cousins also provides leasing and management services to third-party investors; its client-services portfolio comprises 12.7 million square feet of office space. Cousins is a fully integrated equity real estate investment trust (REIT) that has been public since 1962 and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "CUZ." For more information on the Company, please visit Cousins' Web site at www.cousinsproperties.com.
Certain matters discussed in this news release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws and are subject to uncertainties and risks, including, but not limited to, general and local economic conditions, local real estate conditions, the activity of others developing competitive projects, the cyclical nature of the real estate industry, the financial condition of existing tenants, interest rates, the Company's ability to obtain favorable financing or zoning, environmental matters, the effects of terrorism, the failure of assets under contract for sale to ultimately close and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005. The words "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "estimates" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes that its plans, intentions and expectations reflected in any forward-looking statement are reasonable, the Company can give no assurance that these plans, intentions or expectations will be achieved. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and speak as of the date of such statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of future events, new information or otherwise.