Cousins Properties was selected by C&S Bank for the project, and the two companies entered into a joint venture partnership - a relationship that continued to flourish after the bank's merger with Bank of America. The partners worked in tandem managing 1.2 million square feet of construction to develop Bank of America Plaza, now an icon in the Atlanta skyline. The project, which was delivered on-time and on-budget in 1992, commanded a dramatic presence as the tallest building in the country beyond New York and Chicago, with 55 stories soaring 1,023 feet above Atlanta's bustling downtown business district.
Bank of America Plaza featured premier amenities designed specifically for C&S Bank, including an executive dining room, multi-station cafeteria, 20,000 square foot health club, art gallery and conference center. Cousins also took care to offer amenities that would attract other world-class tenants. The strategy was so successful that Cousins amended the original building plan to include two additional floors to accommodate more tenants. Bank of America Plaza opened at 85 percent occupancy and was soon 95 percent leased.
The skyscraper, with its signature wire-cage pinnacle that glows a soft orange at night, redefined the Atlanta skyline just as the city was emerging on the international scene with its growing reputation as a large metropolitan city and the approach of the 1996 Olympic Games. Bank of America Plaza has won numerous Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) awards, including International Winner, Over One Million Square Feet; Southern Region Building of the Year; and The Office Building of the Year. In addition, the building won Best Community Impact/Architectural Deal of the Year from the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Since its introduction, Cousins and the building owner have enhanced the property with renovations to the main lobby, garage elevator lobbies and advanced security systems. Under Cousins' management, Bank of America Plaza was awarded the ENERGY STAR Designation in 2002 and again in 2009 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Fourteen years after its opening, Bank of America and Cousins sold Bank of America Plaza for a record breaking price of $348 per square foot, totaling $436 million.