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ATLANTA-CSC Associates, a partnership between Cousins Properties and Bank of America Corp., has agreed to sell the 55-story Bank of America Plaza for $436 million to an affiliate of Los Angeles-based BentleyForbes. At $348 per sf, the transaction is the highest price ever paid for an office building in the city.

The 1.25-million-sf building sits at the corner of North Avenue and Peachtree Street. At 1,023 feet, it is one of the tallest buildings in the US. Due diligence is expected to wrap up Aug. 3, with closing eyed for late August or early September. As part of the agreement, Cousins will continue to lease and manage the 600 Peachtree high rise.

The highest price ever paid for an Atlanta office building was $305 million–the Houston-based Hines’ July 14 purchase of One Atlantic Center. Based on asset size, the previous record was $343 per sf, which was paid for the 424,000-sf Pinnacle office building in 2004.

“For years, Bank of America Plaza has been closely associated with our company so we were delighted with the reception and interest it received from investors. The record-setting price speaks volumes about the singular nature of the building and the companies that call it home,” says Cousins Properties president and CEO Tom Bell, in a press release.

A Cousins spokesman tells GlobeSt.com that the sale is consistent with Cousins’ approach to business. “We develop the highest quality buildings we can and then, at a time when the market tells us that we’re at or near peak, we look to capture that value,” he says. “With the number of investors looking to buy quality office buildings, this was the right time in the marketplace to capture the value.”

Constructed in 1992, Bank of America Plaza was designed by Hamden, CT-based architects Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo & Associates. The building is 100% leased. Among tenants are Bank of America, Troutman Sanders, Paul Hastings, Boston Consulting, Hunton & Williams and Ernst & Young.

BentleyForbes is armed with $1 billion to acquire class A properties in key markets. Its other recent purchases include the 2.2-million-sf Prudential Plaza in Chicago and 261,000-sf Watergate in Washington, DC. Plus, the investment group is holding a contract for yet another office property in Dallas, where it owns at least one million sf.

Tthe Atlanta CBRE Investment Properties team of Will Yowell, Justin Parsonnet and Jay O’Meara represented Cousins Properties and Bank of America in the transaction.

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