Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cousins' Joel Murphy Retires; Helped Launch 'Avenue' Retail Concept

ATLANTA, GA-- Cousins Properties Incorporated (NYSE: CUZ) has announced that Joel Murphy (top right photo) is retiring from the Company, effective December 31, 2008.

Murphy has been with Cousins for 20 years and is currently executive vice president and chief leasing and asset management officer, where he has responsibility for the combined office and retail leasing and asset management teams and the Company's third-party services group.

Murphy previously served for 12 years as senior vice president and president of the Company's Retail Division. He has agreed to serve as a consultant to the Company after January 1, 2009.

"Over the years, Joel has helped Cousins become a leader inretail development. His presence and influence will be missed," said Tom Bell, (top left photo) chairman and CEO of Cousins.

"We sincerely appreciate his two decades of service and the great contributions he has made to our company. We are pleased Joel has agreed to consult with us after the first of the year and wish him the best as he embarks on this next phase of his career."

During his time with Cousins, Murphy played a critical role in the Company's retail development success, most notably in the creation and growth of the Company's award-winning Avenue(R) concept retail centers. The Avenue, which was introduced in 1998, brings together national retailers, specialty shops and local restaurants in a unique outdoor setting. The Company has now developed nine Avenue centers in four states.

Cousins Board Authorizes Plan to Repurchase Stock

ATLANTA, GA--Cousins Properties Incorporated(NYSE: CUZ) has announced that its Board of Directors has adopted a new plan authorizing the expenditure of up to $20 million to repurchase the Company's Series A and Series B Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock.

The Company may repurchase the shares from time totime in open market transactions, pursuant to a 10b5-1 purchase planand in negotiated and block transactions as market and business conditions warrant on or before May 6, 2009.

Investment Community: Elli Kaplan, Vice President, (404) 407-1972

Media: Matt Gove, Senior Vice President, (404) 407-1490,

Stirling Sotheby's International Commercial Realty negotiates sales of two out parcels in Lake Mary, FL

LAKE MARY, Fla. -- Stirling Sotheby’s International Commercial Realty recently negotiated the sales of two out parcels at Rinehart Place, a 210,000 square foot mixed-use center under development on 23 acres on Rinehart Rd. and County Rd. 46A in the I-4 /Lake Mary corporate corridor.

Roger Soderstrom, founder and owner of Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty said broker associate Jeffrey Henwood (top right photo) negotiated both property sales.

Old Southern Bank, based in Clermont, paid $1.45 million for a 0.82-acre (+/-) out parcel at Rinehart Place and plans to build a 5,022 square foot branch bank with drive-through facilities.

CVS Pharmacy, the Delaware-based retail pharmacy chain, paid $2.35 million for its 1.5-acre (+/-) out parcel. Henwood said CVS plans to develop a 12,900 square foot retail store with drive-through pharmacy at Rinehart Place.

Construction of the bank recently started (in mid-October). CVS is expected to break ground in December.

Stirling Sotheby’s International Commercial Realty ( is the exclusive marketing representative for Rinehart Place.

The developer of the highly visible medical/professional and retail center is MAQ Group Development based in Margate, Fla.

For more information, please contact

Jeffrey Henwood, Stirling Sotheby’s International Commercial 407-571-2222
Frank Dever, Stirling Sotheby’s International Commercial 407-571-2222
Roger Soderstrom, Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty 407-588-1260
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications 407-644-4142

Sale of Houston’s Oak Park Office Center III closed by HFF

HOUSTON, TX – The Houston office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) has closed the sale of Oak Park Office Center III, (bottom left photo) a 151,000-square-foot office building in Houston’s Westchase submarket.

HFF senior managing directors Robert Williamson (top left photo) and Jeff Hollinden (middle right photo) and associate director Barbara Guffey (top right photo) led the investment sales team on behalf of the seller, Realty Associates Oak Park III, L.P.

Grubb & Ellis Realty Investors, LLC purchased the property free and clear of debt for an undisclosed amount.

Situated on an 11.4-acre site at 6001 Rogerdale Road, Oak Park Office Center III is within the Oak Park at Westchase office park close to the intersection of Beltway 8 and the Westpark Tollway in Houston.

The two-story property was developed by Myers Crow & Saviers, Ltd. in 2008 and is fully leased to Jacobs Engineering for a 10 year term. HFF also arranged the prior sale of Oak Park Office Center I and II on behalf the same development team in 2004 and February 2008.

Myers, Crow & Saviers, Ltd. is a real estate development and investment firm focusing on the development of office and industrial buildings in Houston, the Dallas/Fort.Worth metroplex and San Antonio.

Grubb & Ellis Realty Investors, the real estate investment and asset management subsidiary of Grubb & Ellis Company, offers a full range of commercial real estate investment programs.

Grubb & Ellis Realty Investors and affiliates manage a growing portfolio of assets valued in excess of $5.7 billion located across 30 states.

HFF (NYSE: HF) operates out of 18 offices nationwide and is a leading provider of commercial real estate and capital markets services to the U.S. commercial real estate industry.

HFF offers clients a fully integrated national capital markets platform including debt placement, investment sales, structured finance, private equity, note sales and note sale advisory services and commercial loan servicing.


Robert E. Williamson, HFF Senior Managing Director, 713 852 3500,

Jeffrey A. Hollinden, HFF Senior Managing Director, 713 852 3500,

Laurie Fish McDowell, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, 617 338 0990,

HFF closes sale of two Austin, TX industrial properties

DALLAS, TX – The Dallas office of HFF (Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P.) has closed the sale of Southpark 3 & 4, two industrial properties totaling 176,000 square feet in Austin, Texas.

HFF director Jud Clements (top right photo) and associate director Robby Rieke marketed the properties on behalf of the seller, an affiliate of the General Electric Pension Trust, advised by GE Asset Management.

AEW Capital Management, L.P. purchased Southpark 3 & 4 free and clear of debt for an undisclosed amount. AEW acquired the property on behalf of AEW Value Investors, II, L.P., a value-added real estate fund.

Southpark 3 & 4 are located at 4209 and 4129 South Industrial Drive near the intersection of State Highway 71 and Interstate 35 in Austin’s southeast industrial submarket.

Completed in 1995, the buildings are 89% leased to tenants including The Whitley Printing Co., BlueLinx Corporation, Crawford Electric Supply and Austin Tele-Services. An adjacent 4.2-acre development site was also included in the sale.

“Southpark 3 & 4 benefit from a strategic location, diversified tenant base, stable cash flow with upside and a development opportunity on the adjacent parcel,” said Clements.

With a 78-year heritage of investment experience and more than $156 billion in assets under management, GE Asset Management is one of the largest managers of institutional assets in the U.S. GE Asset Management is exclusive real estate advisor to the GE Pension Trust, a global asset manager.

Founded in 1981, AEW Capital Management, L.P. provides real estate investment management services to investors worldwide.

Currently (as of June 30, 2008), AEW and its affiliates manage over $50 billion of property and securities in North America, Europe and Asia.

On behalf of many of the world’s leading institutional and private investors, the firm actively manages portfolios in both the public and private property markets and across the risk/return spectrum.


Judson M. Clements, HFF Director, 214 265 0880,
Laurie Fish McDowell, HFF Associate Director, Marketing, 617 338 0990,

Grubb & Ellis Predicts Continued Softening in Commercial Markets

SANTA ANA, CA--Bob Bach, (top right photo) senior vice president and chief economist at Grubb & Ellis Co. notes in his regular market update the labor market has deteriorated sharply in the past three months.

The October unemployment rate hit 6.5 percent, (middle left chart) the highest since February 1994, while employers have shed nearly 1.2 million payroll jobs this year, more than half of them coming in August, September and October.

Total job losses may approach the 2.7 million total recorded during and after the 2001 recession, while the unemployment rate could exceed 7.8 percent, the peak registered in June 1992 following the 1990-91 recession.

Expect commercial real estate leasing market fundamentals to soften through 2009.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics and Grubb & Ellis Co.

For more information or to speak with Bob Bach, please contact Janice McDill at 312.698.6707.

Concord Hospitality Breaks Ground on 17th Hotel in 2008

Company On Target to Double Portfolio to 100 Hotels Within Three Years

RALEIGH-DURHAM, N.C.—Concord Hospitality Enterprises, one of the nation’s top-ranked hotel developer/owner/operators, has broken ground on its 17th property of 2008, bringing to 15 the number of hotels the company currently has under construction.

The newest property is the 124-room Courtyard in Pittsburgh, PA, scheduled to open in fall 2009.

All of the hotels are premium brands affiliated with the world’s leading franchisors and are slated to open between now and year-end 2009.

Two of the properties, the SpringHill Suites by Marriott-Waukegan, Ill., (middle left photo) and the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Pittsburgh, Pa. (middle right photo), opened in August.

The remaining 15 under-construction hotels, aggregating more than 2,000 rooms and valued at nearly $350 million, put the company on pace to double the size of its portfolio to more than 100 owned and managed within the next three years.

“We did our first 50 hotels in 20 years; we hope to do our next 50 in three,” said Mark Laport, (top right photo) Concord Hospitality president and CEO.

“Our accelerated growth will be through a combination of new development, acquisitions/repositionings and third-party management contracts.

"Our development pipeline is the strongest it’s ever been, with 15 being the largest number of properties we’ve had under construction at one time. Even with a slowing economy and a troubled credit market, we have the ability to move projects forward.

"We have available equity to invest in new properties, in addition to the capital to develop, acquire and reposition/renovate hotels, and we have long-standing relationships with lenders who know us and know our capabilities.”

Laport noted that the 15 under-construction hotels will produce a portfolio with a wider geographical reach.

“In 2008, we have added or broken ground on properties in New York, Illinois, Maryland, Alabama and Texas and will break ground in North Carolina by the end of the year.

"We are gradually increasing our geographic diversification, developing in high-growth regions, like the southwest, in order to spread our business risk across a wider area and lessen our exposure to any one regional economy.

"As always, we are focusing on markets with solid demographics and high barriers to new supply. We continue to aggressively seek additional sites for hotel development, both domestically and overseas,” he said.

“With the continued globalization of the hotel industry, we see significant international growth opportunities, especially as U.S.-based brands like Marriott, Hilton, Starwood and Intercontinental Hotel Group seek to expand their presence there.”

The 15 hotels currently under construction in the Concord pipeline are:

Laport added that new development is just one leg of a multi-pronged growth strategy. With the recently announced signing of contracts with national real estate developer Jackson-Shaw, to manage two hotels in an under-construction, multi-use development in Dallas, Concord’s portfolio of hotels reached another important milestone.

Third-party management contracts now account for half of the company’s total portfolio of more than 50 hotels, compared to an 80/20 mix just a few years ago.

(Renaissance Raleigh hotel site, Raleigh, NC, bottom right map)

“Our existing owners have always been an important source of new management contract opportunities for us,” Laport said.

“Now we have taken a more proactive approach, looking for owners who have or wish to build quality assets and need high-level technical and pre-opening services to help in the development, opening and operating of hotels.”

Contacts: Melanie Boyer, Jerry Daly (703) 435-6293.