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Cousins Properties Inc. plans to purchase The Gellerstedt Group — an owner and developer that focuses on urban multi-family projects. Cousins is not acquiring any hard assets or projects, just the company's expertise and staff. Now it will have three capabilities, potentially positioning it to take advantage of the mixed-use wave hitting the real estate industry … Home Depot has made further inroads into the $400+ billion professional builder's market with its recent agreement to purchase Atlanta-based lumber and building materials wholesaler William Bros. … Despite stronger first-quarter performance in 2005, Fitch Ratings downgraded ratings on Kroger Co. and to "negative" from "stable" due to competition in the supermarket industry and continued weakness in operating results. Fitch maintained Safeway Stores Inc.'s “negative” rating, also citing competition in the marketplace.

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