Growing Southern Energy relocating near MARTA line

Seeking to accommodate rapid growth, Southern Energy Inc. will move to a new building near the Sandy Springs MARTA station, with the Southern Company Energy Marketing unit relocating by December and the headquarters going a year later.

Southern Company Energy Marketing, the trading and marketing arm jointly owned with Vastar Resources Inc., will place its trading operations on a state-of-the-art, 40,000-square-foot trading floor, scheduled for completion Dec. 1. Southern Company Energy Marketing will have the option to add another 66,000 square feet if needed. The move will involve more than 500 Southern Company Energy Marketing employees, some of whom will go to the new trading floor in December.

Southern Energy’s 370 headquarters employees, working in North American and international business units and corporate functions, will occupy 168,000 square feet (the lobby floor and six other floors) of an adjacent 12-story tower in late 2000. Remaining Southern Company Energy Marketing employees also will move into the tower at that time.

“This new complex will give Southern Energy the room it needs as it continues to grow at a dramatic pace,” said Tom Boren, president and chief executive officer of Southern Energy. “Our space needs became particularly evident in the past year as we expanded in North America, where we’ve pursued a strategy of acquiring new assets in key markets and integrating those assets with our energy trading and marketing business.”

Boren also noted that Southern Company, Southern Energy’s parent company, has long been concerned about Atlanta’s increasing traffic and air quality problems. He said that moving across the street from a Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority station will give Southern Energy employees a new incentive to reduce their commuting impact.

“For some time now, we’ve offered to pay for our employees’ rides to work if they use MARTA, and we believe many more employees will take advantage of the offer once we move,” Boren said.

The relocation also will play a key role in the growth of Southern Company Energy Marketing, which recently consolidated its Houston and Atlanta trading offices in Atlanta, said Marce Fuller, its CEO. “We’ll have one of the largest energy trading floors in the nation, and we’ll also have the latest energy trading technology.”

The complex, being developed by Cousins Properties Inc., will be located at 1155 Perimeter Center West. The property is jointly owned by Cousins Properties and J.P. Morgan’s Special Situation Property Fund.

Construction has begun on the first phase of the project, which includes the energy trading center and an eight-story parking garage. The Sandy Springs MARTA station also is under construction.

Southern Energy Inc. develops, builds, owns and operates power production and delivery facilities and provides a broad range of services to utilities and industrial companies around the world. Southern Energy supplies energy in 10 countries on four continents. Its Southern Company Energy Marketing unit provides energy trading, marketing and financial services and other energy-related commodities, products and services to customers in North America. Southern Company Energy Marketing is the No. 2 marketer of electricity in the United States and one of the nation’s 10 largest marketers of natural gas.

Southern Company (NYSE: SO), the largest producer of electricity in the United States, is also the parent firm of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric.

Atlanta-based Cousins Properties Inc. has extensive experience in the real estate industry, including the development, acquisition, financing, management and leasing of properties. The property types that Cousins actively invests in include office, retail, medical office and land development projects. The company’s portfolio consists of interests in 9.8 million square feet of office space, 3.4 million square feet of retail space and .6 million square feet of medical office space, and over 400 acres of land for future commercial development. Cousins is a fully integrated equity real estate investment trust that has been public since 1962 and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CUZ.”