Hertz Investment Group Sells New Orleans Dominion Tower Property to Zelia LLC

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The sales agreement transfers to Zelia LLC the Hertz-owned 600,000-square-foot Dominion Tower office building, the 400,000-square-foot New Orleans Centre mall, and the 2,000-space New Orleans Center parking garage. Hertz Investment Group continues to be the largest single owner of office space in New Orleans and still owns four buildings, representing a combined 1.7 million square feet, in the central business district.

We are delighted to now hand the future of these important assets over to the Benson family. We continue to hold property inside the City of New Orleans and are proud to have continuing presence here as this jewel of a city regains its footing as one of America's most beautiful and vibrant venues for visitors, businesses and residents.

The Hertz Investment Group today announced it has sold to the family of Tom Benson, owner of the NFL Saints football team, a set of properties adjacent to the New Orleans Superdome. It is one of the largest real estate transactions yet announced for the central business district of New Orleans since the devastation and flooding of the city by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The sales agreement transfers to Zelia LLC, a company wholly owned by the Benson family, the Hertz-owned 600,000-square-foot Dominion Tower office building, the 400,000-square-foot New Orleans Centre mall, and the 2,000-space New Orleans Center parking garage.

Said Judah Hertz, founder and chairman of the Hertz Investment Group: "Despite the devastation of Katrina, which caused more damage than any other natural catastrophe in U.S. history, we knew that these properties were critically important to the people and future of New Orleans. We have been careful stewards of this property and many of our staff have made heroic sacrifices to protect and preserve these once-endangered structures."

Added Mr. Hertz: "We are delighted to now hand the future of these important assets over to the Benson family. We continue to hold property inside the City of New Orleans and are proud to have continuing presence here as this jewel of a city regains its footing as one of America's most beautiful and vibrant venues for visitors, businesses and residents."

In October 2003, the Hertz Group paid $36 million to the Simon Property Group for the 26-story office tower and sprawling retail complex, built in 1989. The sales transaction announced today facilitated a long-term agreement between the Benson family and the State of Louisiana which aims to keep the NFL's Saints football team, owned by the family, in New Orleans at the newly-refurbished Superdome.

Zelia LLC has previously announced plans to partner with state officials to create a large entertainment complex for sports fans by the start of football season in 2010. The State of Louisiana, which owns the Superdome, will lead efforts to engage architects and planners in creating a master plan for the buildings and arena.

Zelia and the Benson family have entered into a separate agreement with the State of Louisiana to refurbish the Tower for use by various state offices, which were displaced by Hurricane Katrina and are now housed in temporary quarters across the City of New Orleans. The Saints also plan to move their executive offices into Dominion Tower.

Hertz Investment Group continues to be the largest single owner of office space in New Orleans and still owns four buildings, representing a combined 1.7 million square feet, in the central business district:

  • Texaco Center (620,000 square feet)
  • 909 Poydras (545,000 square feet)
  • Poydras Center (453,000 square feet)
  • Westpark Office Building (109,000 square feet)

About The Hertz Investment Group

The Hertz Investment Group specializes in the acquisition, marketing and management of exceptional real estate properties with a special emphasis on downtown revitalization.

The company is privately held and is today one of the largest fully-integrated real estate investment companies North America. Hertz currently owns and manages more than 20 major urban properties, representing more than 11 million square feet of office space in the central business districts of ten U.S. cities across eight states: Louisiana (New Orleans, Shreveport, and Lake Charles); Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh), Missouri (St. Louis), Kansas (Kansas City), Indiana (Indianapolis), Kentucky (Louisville), Mississippi (Jackson), and Ohio (Columbus, Cincinnati).

Since its founding by Judah Hertz in 1979, the Hertz Investment Group has acquired and managed a diverse collection of more than 100 premier properties throughout the United States, including prominent high-rise office buildings; international market centers for fashion and jewelry; historically significant landmark properties; luxury hotels; high profile theaters and society clubs; large retail centers; and multi-family residential properties.

For more information, visit us at http://www.hertzgroup.com on the Web.

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