Contact Us
News

EVERY TIME YOU THINK IT'S OUT... IT IS

EVERY TIME YOU THINK IT'S OUT... IT IS
Cousins properties Larry Gellerstedt Jim Fleming industrial exit NAREIT REITWorld 2010 Waldorf-Astoria
In case it hasn't been made clear, Cousins Properties is definitely getting out of the industrial game. CEO Larry Gellerstedt, here with Jim Fleming, says the Atlanta REIT is looking to stabilize its industrial assets—including Jefferson Mill Business Park in Jefferson and King Mill Distribution Park in McDonough—and exit that sector. (It raised occupancy in its 2M SF in Atlanta and Dallas from 14% to 90%.) Though Larry points out that  no fire sales are in order, this will end Cousins' brief history in the industrial arena, which it entered in 2004. It's part of an overall defensive strategy Larry mapped out to attendees at NAREIT's REITWorld 2010 in the Waldorf-Astoria in New York yesterday. The development-oriented company is pushing leasing (though it also acquires), selling non-core assets, and generating fees (management for institutional owners and client services). In Georgia and Texas, though, it will acquire distressed properties, like Atlanta's 50-story 191 Peachtree, which rose from 20% to 50% occupied, including a recent 52K SF lease with law firm Carlock, Copeland. Cousins has also taken its leverage from 75% in June '09 to 38% now.