Synovus Close to Full Floor Deal at Terminus
Fresh off the news that it will add two floors to its first Terminus office tower, Cousins Properties Inc. (NYSE: CUZ) is close to finalizing a full-floor office lease there with a division of Columbus, GA-based Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE: SNV).
Synovus Wealth Management and Cousins have agreed on the basic lease terms for approximately 23,000 square feet in the under-construction, 580,000-square-foot office tower rising at the corner of Peachtree and Piedmont roads in Buckhead. The 33-story tower is the first phase of the 10-acre Terminus mixed-use project, which will eventually include another office tower, approximately 800 residential units and loads of ground-level retail.
Cousins’ Tad Leithead, who is leading the marketing efforts at Terminus, declined to comment on any pending deal.
The Synovus deal may also lead to a retail bank branch in the office building, given Synovus’ recent purchase of Cobb County-based Riverside Bank, which has a branch on East Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead.
The lease is also another potential win for Cousins in its fairly one-sided leasing battle with Atlanta-based Regent Partners, which has announced plans for a 47-story mixed-use tower containing 480,000 square feet of office space and 99 luxury condo units at 3344 Peachtree Road. Regent has scored a few successes, including a 14,000-square-foot signature restaurant deal with the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group and an agreement to move the Buckhead Club over from Atlanta Financial Center. But Regent has not been able to secure office leases similar to Cousins’ deals with CB Richard Ellis (50,000 to 75,000 square feet), Bain & Co. (50,000 square feet) and Smith Barney (approximately 50,000 square feet).
For its part, Regent is working on deals that could bring it 125,000 to 150,000 square feet of leasing by the end of the year, said David Tennery, a principal with Regent. While Tennery wouldn’t comment on specific users, brokers active in Buckhead say there is a minimum of 100,000 square feet of potential deals in the market right now including Premiere Global Services, Airserv Corp. and Wachovia Insurance Services.
Tennery said nailing down deals would be helpful but Regent and its partners on the building are confident enough in the market to start the building as soon as the permits are ready.
“We don’t have a start requirement [for preleasing] nor do we have a pre-sale requirement on the condos,” Tennery said. “We are moving forward with all of our notifications to adjacent property owners, and I have no doubt that we are going to [start construction] when we have the permits.”
“Our objective has always been to try to start by the end of October,” he added. “But we are still 30 to 60 days out from obtaining permits.”
Tennery also said Regent is close to hiring the marketing firm for the luxury condos but his firm is already seeing demand for the type of high-end units that will be in the building