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Cousins Properties (CUZ) Inks 328,000SF Lease With Apache

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Cousins Properties (CUZ - Free Report) recently announced that it has executed an early lease renewal and expansion with Apache Corporation — a Fortune 500 oil and gas exploration and production company — for 328,000 square feet at its Briarlake Plaza property in Houston. The new lease has an expiry in 2038.

Apache currently holds 210,000 square feet of leased space at Briarlake Plaza, the lease for which was slated to expire in late 2024. The company will relocate its global headquarters to the property and is expected to occupy the expansion space by early 2024.

In 2019, through the acquisition of TIER REIT Inc., Cousins Properties acquired Briarlake Plaza in the Westchase submarket of Houston. The two-building property is located within the Memorial Corridor and comprises on-site dining amenities, fitness and conference centers, and access to unique outdoor spaces.

Per Colin Connolly, president and CEO of Cousins Properties, “This corporate headquarters relocation highlights the importance of premier workplaces in fostering employee collaboration and enhancing company culture.”

Cousins Properties is witnessing a recovery in demand for its high-quality, well-placed office properties, as evident by the rebound in new leasing volume. 

In third-quarter 2022, it executed 48 leases for a total of 431,378 square feet of office space with a weighted average term of 8.3 years. This included 222,120 square feet of renewal leases and 59,235 square feet of expansion leases.

Moreover, the next cycle of office-space demand is likely to be driven by an inbound business migration and significant investments being made by office occupiers to expand their footprint in the Sun Belt regions. This is expected to boost the demand for CUZ’s high-quality portfolio of office assets in the forthcoming quarters.

Analysts, too, seem bullish about this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s 2022 funds from operations (FFO) per share has moved marginally upward in the past week.

Shares of Cousins Properties have gained 11.3% in the quarter-to-date period compared with its industry’s growth of 8.5%.

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Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the REIT sector are VICI Properties (VICI - Free Report) , Lamar Advertising (LAMR - Free Report) and Chatham Lodging Trust REIT (CLDT - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for VICI Properties’ current-year FFO per share is pegged at $1.91.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Lamar Advertising’s 2022 FFO per share is pegged at $7.34.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Chatham Lodging Trust’s ongoing year’s FFO per share is pegged at $1.17.

Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represent funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs.

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