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Highwoods Properties, Inc. Q2 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

Turning to our results, leasing volumes were solid and better than a year ago. Office leasing in the first half of 2010 totaled 1.8 million square feet, compared to 1.3 million square feet lease in the first half of 2009. Some of the larger deals we achieved over the past six months have come with higher leasing CapEx, but these transactions were carefully vetted and stand nicely on their own merits. They are long-term, long non-credit and strong wins for Highwoods.

OpEx and G&A are lower as we continued to be successful on our ongoing efforts to reduce expenses and improve efficiencies throughout our company. This has resulted in better same store NOI and G&A forecast in our updated FFO guidance.

Our office occupancy remains significantly better than the market as a whole as we continue to differentiate our sales from our competitors to our healthy balance sheet. This strategy has proven to be effective as exhibited by recent wins of the larger deals in the number of our markets.

Turning to investment activity, we're extremely pleased to have deployed $52.6 million to acquire Crescent Center. This purchase is a bulls eye on our acquisition scorecard. It improves the overall quality of our portfolio. It is a terrific asset in the core infield submarket. It strengthens our dominance in Memphis's best submarket. It has a stable diversified customer-based with no material near-term roles. We acquired a 30% plus below replacement cost and it is immediately accretive to FFO.

While the breadth of our current acquisition opportunities remains narrow and well below historic norms, we are seeing the cadence of offering memorandums increase while they are not all higher quality assets, the few that are seeing to be garnering a "Scarcity" premium.

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