SOURCE: Highwoods Properties

Highwoods Properties

January 30, 2012 09:25 ET

Lockton Extends Square Footage and Expands Lease at Highwoods Properties Valencia Place Office Tower

Leases 181,000 Square Feet Through February 2030

KANSAS CITY, MO--(Marketwire - Jan 30, 2012) - Highwoods Properties, Inc. (NYSE: HIW) and Lockton, the world's largest privately held insurance broker, today announced that Lockton has renewed its lease for 171,000 square feet at Valencia Place Office Tower, a Class "A" office building in the heart of the historic County Club Plaza, and expanded by an additional 10,000 square feet. The transaction extends Lockton's commitment to Valencia Place Office Tower through February 2030.

Ed Fritsch, President and CEO of Highwoods, stated, "We are pleased Lockton has chosen to significantly extend its relationship with Highwoods at the Country Club Plaza. We value our relationship with Lockton and their distinguished management team and look forward to serving them for many years to come. Also, congratulations to our Kansas City team for their hard work in fortifying and expanding our relationship with Lockton."

Mark Henderson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Lockton's Kansas City Property Casualty operations, said, "Since our inception, we have remained committed to three things: our Clients, our Associates, and our Communities. We are pleased to continue our relationship with Highwoods and to confirm our commitment to Kansas City. This remarkable community has provided Lockton with a solid foundation for more than 45 years and we look forward to continuing our growth and watching Kansas City grow from right here on the Plaza."

"Lockton is the perfect example of a Kansas City success story and a pillar of our claim to be the city of entrepreneurs. Founded here in 1966 by Jack Lockton, the company is now the world's largest privately owned, independent insurance brokerage firm. Perhaps even more important is Lockton was named one of the best places to work last year. We are very proud Lockton will continue to call Highwoods Valencia Place Office Tower home and we appreciate Highwoods support in keeping Lockton in Kansas City," said Kansas City Mayor Sly James.

About Lockton
More than 4,100 professionals at Lockton provide more than 15,000 clients around the world with insurance, benefits, and risk management services, offering an uncommon level of client service. From its founding in 1966 in Kansas City, Missouri, Lockton has grown to become the largest privately held insurance broker in the world and 9th largest overall. Independent researcher Greenwich Associates awarded Lockton its 2011 Service Excellence Award for risk management for large companies. For three consecutive years, Business Insurance has recognized Lockton as a "Best Place to Work in Insurance."

About Highwoods Properties
Highwoods Properties, headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, is a publicly traded (NYSE: HIW) real estate investment trust ("REIT") and a member of the S&P MidCap 400 Index. The Company is a fully integrated, self-administered REIT that provides leasing, management, development, construction and other customer-related services for its properties and for third parties. At December 31, 2011, Highwoods owned or had an interest in 338 in-service office, industrial and retail properties encompassing approximately 34.5 million square feet and owned 586 acres of development land. The Company's properties and development land are located in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. For more information about Highwoods Properties, please visit our web site at