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ATLANTA-Cousins Properties Inc. and Gellerstedt, two names synonymous with major Atlanta commercial real estate activity for over a quarter of a century, will be in business as a single entity after June 30 when Cousins’ acquisition of Gellerstedt Group closes, Cousins announced June 15. Larry L. Gellerstedt founded the Gellerstedt Group in 2003. He has been in the real estate and construction business in Atlanta since 1973.

Cousins president and CEO Thomas D. Bell Jr. didn’t disclose the acquisition price in a prepared statement. However, people in a position to know tell GlobeSt.com the transaction will go down between $50 million and $75 million. Cousins, a New York Stock Exchange-traded company, is expected to disclose the acquisition price when it files papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission after the deal closes, sources tell GlobeSt.com.

Gellerstedt plans to join the Cousins staff at its Windy Ridge Parkway headquarters July 1. He will be president of Cousins’ newly formed Office and Multifamily Division and will be responsible for the firm’s office portfolio, condo developments and other new initiatives. The Gellerstedt Group specializes in multifamily urban residential projects, construction management and build-to-suit services.

The deal was done at this time because Cousins, largely known as an office, industrial and retail developer, is branching out for the first time in the multifamily sector. “Bringing Larry and his team inside the Cousins family is a natural, logical next step for both of our companies,” Bell says. He calls the acquisition “an excellent business fit as we share so many of the same principles when it comes to our product, clients and civic responsibility.”

Gellerstedt says the acquisition “reflects the commitment I see in Cousins to fully take advantage of the demographic and market factors leading to a steadily increasing demand for quality mixed-use developments in urban markets.” Cousins and the Gellerstedt Group are partnering on 905 Juniper, an eight-story, 117-unit development that includes traditional flats, townhouses and live-work units. The project is scheduled to open in spring 2006.

Cousins’ Bell looks forward to a fast production track for the remainder of 2005. “We are entering a new phase of growth at Cousins that will be driven by continued lease-up of our remaining office properties and new development in office, retail, industrial and land,” Bell told shareholders in the first quarter. “With our lower capital base, this increased development should have a significant impact on total shareholder returns.”

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