Reit Magazine - January/February 2021 - 20

Innovation in Atlanta
The Spring & 8th office
building was awarded LEED
Platinum Core & Shell
Certification, the first in the
state of Georgia.

Cousins' leadership team and board of directors
forged a path forward, which Connolly calls a " unique
and compelling strategic plan " to build a preeminent
Sun Belt office company. " We felt like that was where
our strengths and relationships would differentiate us, "
Cousins CFO and EVP Gregg Adzema says.
Connolly, along with Adzema and the leadership
team, have since completed two significant mergers of
competitors to gain an even bigger foothold in the Sun
Belt office market. Today, that strategic transformation has led to a $5 billion market cap company with
a portfolio of 21.8 million square feet of class-A office
space in high-growth markets like Atlanta; Austin;
Dallas; Phoenix; Charlotte, North Carolina; and
Tampa, Florida. Company-wide, its office portfolio
stands at 91.9% leased.

ACCELERATING MIGRATION
That refocus may prove even more valuable during
the COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic. By
assembling a premier Sun Belt office portfolio in what
Cousins considers the best submarkets, Connolly says
the properties are the " last to feel the downturn and
the first to feel the recovery. "

20 |

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The company's portfolio of properties concentrated
in high-growth Sun Belt cities is likely to bode well
for the company, according to analysts, as the region
is likely to command higher rents compared to the
broader office market.
" We think those markets actually have a pretty good
chance of outperforming the rest of the office universe,
because of the fact that they're not as dense as some of
the primary gateway markets that you typically see on
the coasts, in the Northeast and the West Coast, " says
Blaine Heck, senior equity research analyst at Wells
Fargo Securities.
" We're expecting the pandemic actually causes an
acceleration of that migration into some of the Sun
Belt markets, and I think Cousins is well-positioned
to take advantage of that increase in population and
corporate relocations to those markets, " Heck adds.
Cousins reported rent collection for the third quarter was 98.7% from office tenants. Moreover, Cousins
executed leases for nearly 255,000 square feet of office
space, and the office component of its 1.9 millionsquare-foot development pipeline is 82% preleased.
Additionally, Cousins has in excess of $1 billion of
available liquidity.



Reit Magazine - January/February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Reit Magazine - January/February 2021

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Reit Magazine - January/February 2021 - Contents
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