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Cousins Properties Incorporated disclosed the penning of three preleasing deals for around 79,000 square feet of space at a Class-A office building – Colorado Tower – in Austin, Texas. The move is basically aimed at adding top tenants and pushing up the occupancy level at the property.

In particular, Cousins Properties inked the lease deals with three prominent law firms of the U.S., namely DuBois, Bryant & Campbell, LLP (24,342 square feet of space); Scott, Douglas & McConnico, L.L.P. (40,011 square feet); and Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, P.C. (14,768 square feet). As a matter of fact, Scott, Douglas & McConnico was represented by Commercial Texas LLC., while Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, was represented by CBRE Group, Inc. in the lease transactions.

Notably, Colorado Tower – a 373,000 square feet development – is centrally located in Downtown Austin’s Warehouse District. It is believed to be the next high-rise tower in Austin, after Cousins’ Frost Bank Tower, which was developed in 2003. This real estate investment trust (REIT) held the formal groundbreaking ceremony of the property on Jun 4, 2013. The tower is projected to be completed by Dec 2014, with remaining availability of 294,000 square feet of space.

Clearly, given the strong pre-leasing activity, Colorado Tower is well-positioned to capitalize on opportunities in the Downtown Austin market. As a matter of fact, for over 20 years, the company has enjoyed strong presence in the market with high-end office properties such as Frost Bank Tower, 816 Congress and Palisades West.

Cousins currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, other REITs worth considering include Highwoods Properties Inc. and Public Storage . Both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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