"Frost Bank Tower is a remarkable success story for our company," said Tom Bell, president and CEO of Cousins. "We faced tremendous challenges: At the time we started, it was the tallest U.S. skyscraper to start construction after 9/11 and the largest office tower in Austin's history."
"It's a great testament to our Austin team that they were able to successfully deliver this building during a very difficult office market, not only delivering a shining jewel for Austin's skyline but also creating tremendous value for Cousins' shareholders and developing the most valuable office building in Texas history," Bell added. "With this sale, our office and retail teams in Austin can continue pursuing the excellent development opportunities here. We hope to have more announcements about those in the coming months."
"In my 30 years in Austin, I have never been involved in a more challenging or rewarding project than Frost Bank Tower. This building's success is the product of a committed team combined with outstanding community support and the best customers any building could ask for," said Tim Hendricks, senior vice president for office development in Texas. "Even with the sale, Cousins is still strongly committed to Austin and our team is focused on a number of new development opportunities."
The CB Richard Ellis team of Russell Ingrum, Todd Mills, Bart Matheney, Volney Campbell and John Shlesinger represented Cousins in the transaction.
Delivered in January 2004, Frost Bank Tower is home to many of Austin's top businesses including Frost Bank, Jenkens & Gilchrist PC, Graves Dougherty Hearon and Moody PC, Winstead Sechrest & Minick PC, Heritage Title Co. of Austin and The University of Texas Investment Management Company. The building is 82 percent leased.
The pending Frost Bank Tower sale is Cousins' second large office building sale agreement in as many months. In July, Cousins and partner Bank of America entered into a contract to sell Bank of America Plaza in Atlanta for $436 million or approximately $348 per square foot. This price is both a single-office-building and per-square-foot price record for the state of Georgia.
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, 1.3 million square feet of industrial space, one multi-family residential project and 23 single-family neighborhood developments, over 9,200 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 13 million square feet of office and retail 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.