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Cousins Properties' CEO Lauds Tempe As Comparable To Austin

Hayden Ferry Lakeside

Cousins Properties CEO Larry Gellerstedt, speaking recently during the Atlanta-based company's Q2 earnings call, compared Tempe as a real estate market to Austin — that is, a booming city rising on the strength of strong fundamentals.

"Tempe has emerged as a bright spot in [our] new portfolio from the start," Gellerstedt said. "New-to-the-market inquiries and expansion demands from existing customers validates the strength of this urban submarket. Tempe's characteristics mirror what we have experienced in Austin.

"Companies are drawn to the low-cost, business-friendly environment, near a young, affordable and highly educated workforce. Austin's workforce draws from the University of Texas, and Tempe draws from Arizona State University, the largest university in the country, with over 80,000 students."

Larry Gellerstedt at a recent Bisnow event

As a result, leasing has been active at Cousins' portfolio in Tempe, which includes the 225K SF 111 West Rio, the 768K SF Hayden Ferry Lakeside and the 264K SF Tempe Gateway, all office properties. 

"[Cousins Managing Director] Matt Mooney and his team have signed 394K SF of new and renewal leases [in the last nine months], including long-term leases, with quality credit tenants, like ADP and Amazon," Gellerstedt said.

The portfolio is now 97% leased.