Cousins Properties buys Midtown's Promenade II

November 30,2011

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Cousins Properties, the Atlanta-based real estate firm, has completed its acquisition of Midtown's Promenade II in a move that ranks among the largest office building deals of the year.

Cousins acquired the 38-story Promenade II, which is about 58 percent occupied, for $134.7 million, the company said in a news release. The price per square foot is about $174, according to real estate research firm DataBank Atlanta.

The seller was Boston-based Beacon Capital Partners, which acquired the tower and other U.S. assets this year from Australian real estate firm Charter Hall.

Promenade II, which formerly housed some AT&T offices, rises in the heart of Midtown near Colony Square and the Woodruff Arts Center. Law firms Smith Gambrell & Russell and McGuireWoods are among its largest tenants.

Cousins President and CEO Larry Gellerstedt said in the release that the deal “[furthers] our strategic goal of upgrading the portfolio as we recycle out of older, stabilized assets.”

The acquisition follows the firm's sale of One Georgia Center in Midtown for $48.6 million earlier this year.

A building boom of office high-rises in the metro area was followed by a financial collapse, which has created a buyer’s market for building investors. It also has created prime opportunities for companies to lease and customize office space at attractive rates.

Metro Atlanta’s office market remains near historic vacancy rates, though there have been signs of improvement -- this deal included, said Gary Lee, a managing director in Atlanta with real estate firm Cassidy Turley.

“This is a sign of confidence returning to the Atlanta office market,” Lee said.