Notice to Proceed Issued for SkyHouse Austin

Atlanta (Sept. 20, 2012) – Joint venture partners Simpson Housing, Novare Group, Batson- Cook Development Company, and Andrews Urban have issued a notice to proceed on a $67 million luxury high-rise apartment building at 51 Rainey Street in Austin, Texas.

Bank of the Ozarks is providing construction financing for the project, and Simpson Housing, LLLP, NGI Investments, LLC, led by Jim Borders, Batson-Cook Development Company, and AU SkyHouse, LLC, led by Taylor Andrews are providing equity. Robert LaChappelle, Jonathan Rice and Paul Berry of the Atlanta office of CBRE advised on financing.

SkyHouse Austin, an ENERGY STAR rated 23-story, 320-home tower, is the third collaboration between Novare Group and Batson-Cook Development Company. Modeled after SkyHouse Midtown in Atlanta, Georgia, SkyHouse Austin is expected to play a significant role in fulfilling Austin’s vision for the Waterfront District and provide tax revenue for the Waller Creek Tunnel project.

“We were intrigued with the SkyHouse concept, the execution skills of the team, and the partnership with Batson-Cook Development Company. That the project is in the Rainey District of downtown Austin, Texas, where a core quality high rise can be placed adjacent to neighborhood restaurants with an historic feel, put the project over the top for us,” said Scott Henley, Senior Vice President, Simpson Housing LLLP.

”We and Batson-Cook Development Company are very pleased to be working with Simpson Housing and Taylor Andrews to bring the SkyHouse vision to Austin,” said Borders. “Our mission with SkyHouse is to find places in the city where 25 to 34-year-old single urban professionals want to live, and then create a great high-rise luxury experience that fits within their budget. We appreciate the opportunity to again develop in Austin and are proud of the contribution that SkyHouse will make to the Rainey District and the city.”

“Downtown Austin is one of the best places in America for SkyHouse, and we and Kajima,

U.S.A. are pleased to be backing the project,” said Mark Stewart, Director of Investments, Batson-Cook Development Company. “Once complete, it cannot be overestimated the positive impact that projects like SkyHouse Austin have on their communities and the great experience the building will offer for its residents.”

“SkyHouse is the culmination of skilled and patient land assembly work by Robert Knight and Perry Lorenz, a grand vision for the Rainey Street District by our city’s leaders, tireless work by the City of Austin staff, and our continuing partnership with Novare Group after 360 Condominiums,” said Taylor Andrews. “We have an innovative product, a terrific location, and an experienced team, and this will ultimately inure to the benefit of our neighbors and our residents.”

The residences in SkyHouse Austin will feature floor-to-ceiling glass and nine-foot plus ceiling heights with high-end finishes, including premium stainless steel appliances, granite counter

tops, expansive balconies, and high speed wiring. The project will have an amenity deck, fitness center, club room, and pool on the top floor at 230 feet above street level, providing unimpeded views of much of Austin.

Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart is the architect, and Studio DWG is the landscape architect. Kimley Horn is the civil engineer.  Batson-Cook Company is the contractor.

SkyHouse Austin is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2013.

About Novare Group

Novare Group is a real estate development and investment company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia consisting of several investment and operating companies, including Novare Group Holdings, LLC, NGI Investments, LLC, Novare Events, LLC, HomeOwners Advantage, LLC, and TWELVE Hotels and Residences, LLC. Since 1995, Novare Group has developed over 7,000 high-rise residences in 24 buildings around the Southeastern United States. Learn more by visiting www.novaregroup.com.

About Batson-Cook Development Co.

Founded in 1963, Batson-Cook Development Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kajima USA. It is a fully integrated real estate organization providing development and capital solutions primarily through partnerships on commercial real estate projects in the Southeastern United States. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Batson-Cook Development Company offers a wide variety of real estate services from development and construction, to equity and credit enhancements, to brokerage and property management. Learn more by visiting www.batsoncookdev.com.

About Simpson Housing LLLP

Simpson Housing is a national, fully-integrated real estate development and portfolio management firm primarily focused on the multifamily market. Simpson builds and operates high-quality, residential communities throughout the United States. As one of the largest privately held residential developers and managers in the nation, it is organized to deliver a comprehensive range of real estate services – including development, property management, construction, acquisition, marketing, and financing.  Visit www.simpsonhousing.com for more information.

About Andrews Urban

Andrews Urban is an Austin-based urban real estate development company dedicated to mixed-use development in Downtown Austin. Andrews Urban teamed with Novare Group of Atlanta to develop “360 Condominiums,” a 430-unit condominium tower at 3rd and Nueces Streets. “360” was named “2008 Project of the Year” by the Austin Business Journal and was recognized as a model for smart growth by the Central Texas community by receiving the 2008 Envision Central Texas Community Stewardship Award for New Development.  Andrews Urban is led by Taylor Andrews, who has worked in urban real estate investing and development since 1995.

Media Contact:
Thornton Kennedy
cell: 404-210-0363
tkennedy@prsouth.net