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RBC Centura Selects Highwoods Properties To Develop New Headquarters

29-Story Mixed-Use Tower will Soar Above Downtown Raleigh



RALEIGH, N.C., Dec. 6, 2005 - RBC Centura Bank today announced that it has selected Highwoods Properties Inc. (NYSE:HIW) to develop its new downtown Raleigh corporate headquarters at the corner of Fayetteville, Martin and Wilmington streets.

Highwoods plans to build a 29-story mixed-use complex that will include office and retail space, as well as 10 stories of residential condominiums. RBC Centura intends to move its headquarters to the building when it opens in 2008.

"We’re excited about this partnership to develop our headquarters complex and the opportunity to contribute to the revitalization of downtown and take Raleigh’s skyline to new heights," said Scott Custer, CEO of RBC Centura. "RBC Centura’s plan to relocate our headquarters to the state capital is important to the bank’s growth and business opportunities, and we are confident that this project will contribute to the long-term success of the bank."

RBC Centura considered several development proposals for its headquarters complex before selecting Highwoods to undertake and manage the project. Highwoods will serve as the master developer, Dominion Realty Partners as the residential developer and Cooper Carry as the architect for the building.

"We are eager to develop this vertically integrated, mixed-use project, which will be home to RBC Centura’s new U.S. headquarters and other businesses", said Ed Fritsch, president and CEO of Highwoods. Since its founding in Raleigh in 1978, "Highwoods has invested well over $1.5 billion in new development, of which more than $400 million has been in the Triangle. We remain committed to the growth and prosperity of our community and are excited to participate in the rebirth of downtown Raleigh."

Throughout the selection process, the Highwoods team has worked diligently with the leadership of RBC Centura, Progress Energy, Wake County and the City of Raleigh to deliver an ideal site and design to achieve RBC Centura’s objectives while remaining true to the vision of Raleigh’s downtown renaissance.

"We look forward to breaking ground and beginning the construction process next summer," said Fritsch.

The bank selected the Highwoods proposal because it is a mixed-use plan that includes an office tower that will substantively enhance the downtown skyline, a residential project that will appeal to people seeking an urban-living experience and an overall concept that will be a strong addition to the revitalization of downtown.

"The building we selected will make downtown Raleigh an even better place to work, live and play," said Custer.

This project will be located on a 0.83 acre parcel, will stand approximately 400 feet tall and will encompass more than 710,000 square feet of space. The complex will house RBC Centura’s corporate offices, an RBC Centura branch bank, street-level retail space, a seven-level parking deck, five floors of for-lease office space and approximately 140 residential condominium units.

RBC Centura is a U.S. bank subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. It has $20 billion in assets and more than 3,600 employees in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Florida. The company has 273 banking centers across these states. Approximately 300 employees currently work in Raleigh, and the bank expects that number to grow to approximately 500 workers by 2009.


Quick facts about the complex:

Product

  • Vertically integrated mixed-use (retail, parking, office, residential) tower

Master Developer

  • Highwoods Properties, Inc. (NYSE: HIW)

Architect

  • Cooper Carry

Residential Developer

  • Dominion Realty Partners

Anchor Tenant

  • RBC Centura

Scale

  • Located on a 0.83-acre of land
  • 29 stories (approximately 400 feet) tall
  • Approximately 710,000 gross square feet

Location

RBC Centura’s mixed-use corporate headquarters building will be bordered by Fayetteville, Martin and Wilmington streets in the heart of the city’s business and entertainment district

Floors

1 Retail & RBC Centura branch bank
2-8 Enclosed parking
9-18 Office
19 Structural transfer floor
20-29 Residential condominiums

Office Component

  • Approximately 267,000 square feet of office space on 10 floors
  • Approximately 25,000-square-foot floor plates

Retail Component

  • Approximately 14,000 square feet of street-level retail space

Residential Component

  • Approximately 140 for-sale condominium units

Parking

Seven-level parking deck opens onto Wilmington Street with approximately 535 controlled-access parking spaces Approximately 460 additional parking spaces from the Progress Energy parking deck to be completed on Wilmington Street

RBC Centura’s Corporate Offices

Will lease a total of approximately 130,000 rentable square feet, comprised of:

  • Approximately 126,000 square feet for corporate offices on floors nine through 12
  • Approximately 4,000 square feet for lobby level banking center on the building’s first floor

Appearance

  • The building facade will be stone and glass on the first floor, transitioning to architectural pre-cast concrete and glass above.
  • At the condominium levels, the building skin becomes floor to ceiling glass.
  • The pre-cast concrete will be designed with an attention to detail, simulating the craftsmanship of stone.

Interview Opportunities:

To arrange an interview with RBC Centura CEO Scott Custer contact: Kristen Doherty/RBC Centura at (919) 788-6076 or (919) 219-1121.

To arrange an interview with Highwoods Properties CEO Ed Fritsch contact: Tabitha Zane/Highwoods at (919) 431-1529 or (919) 606-6602.

RBC Centura

RBC Centura offers a wide range of financial services and advice, including a complete line of banking, investment, loan, mortgage, life insurance, and other services, to individuals, businesses and public institutions throughout the Southeast. RBC Centura's multifaceted customer access network includes more than 270 full-service banking centers, an extensive ATM network, and telephone and Internet banking. In addition, RBC Centura offers builder finance products through its RBC Builder Finance division. According to the Federal Reserve, RBC Centura is the 50th largest U.S. commercial bank as of June 2005. RBC Centura Banks Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) (NYSE, TSX: RY). Additional information about RBC Centura may be found at www.rbccentura.com.

Highwoods Properties

Highwoods Properties, a member of the S&P MidCap 400 Index, is a fully integrated, self-administered real estate investment trust ("REIT") that provides leasing, management, development, construction and other customer-related services for its properties and for third parties. As of September 30, 2005, the company owned or had an interest in 454 in-service office, industrial and retail properties encompassing approximately 37.1 million square feet. Highwoods also owns approximately 988 acres of development land. Highwoods is based in Raleigh, N.C., and its properties and development land are located in Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Dominion Realty Partners

Dominion Realty Partners, LLC, is a full-service real estate organization that brings together a real estate team with more than four decades of experience in quality commercial and residential developments in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States valued at more than $2 billion. Dominion Realty Partners includes development, management, leasing and acquisition of more than two million square feet of office space, more than 900 luxury condominiums, 500 apartments and 1,000 senior living residences.

Cooper Carry

Founded in 1960, Cooper Carry is a multi-disciplinary design firm of 215 employees with offices in Atlanta, Ga., Alexandria, Va., and New York, N.Y. Cooper Carry's work is overseen by 15 principals who pursue the firm's philosophy of connective design, creating highly interactive spaces that mix uses and deliver value to the built environment and the community at large. The firm is comprised of five key disciplines: planning, architecture, interiors, landscapes and graphics. Beneath the umbrella of these disciplines are practice groups with expertise in hospitality, corporate, office, retail, residential, laboratory, education (K-12 and university), government and mixed-use projects.