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Highwoods Properties, Inc. Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

We are seeing a number of build-to-suit opportunities, including projects for both the GSA and the private sector. While we can’t predict how many of these, if any, will come to fruition, our proven track record as a developer and our ability to undertake a project without financing contingencies, provide us with distinct competitive advantages.

As stated in yesterday’s release, we placed one development project in service in the first quarter, Cool Springs IV in Nashville. Our $41.6 million wholly-owned development pipeline now consists of two projects; Triad Centre III, a 148,000 square foot office building in Memphis, and River Point IV, a 200,000 square foot industrial property in Atlanta. We are also developing a 171,000 square foot office building in a joint venture for the GSA in Charlotte.

Our search for high-quality acquisitions to strengthen our franchise, enhance our portfolio, and generate long-term attractive returns is ongoing. As all of us know, very little has come to market. What we are hearing from owners, bankers and brokers is that, at this point anyway, owners are basically only willing to sell lower quality assets, which would not enhance our portfolio. Our search for quality assets continues.

On the disposition front, we continued to make progress towards our selling of $50 million to $150 million of non-core assets this year. As I do every year, I recently hosted our annual employee presentation in each of our divisions. This year’s theme is focused on a review of the economy, our industry and where opportunities lie. While everyone at Highwoods understands the current operating environment is somewhat difficult, it is abundantly clear that a roll-up-your-sleeves, get-it-done attitude is pervasive throughout our company.

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