The Tampa Bay chapter of NAIOP named the new MetWest One officebuilding as its outstanding office building for 2009, whileTampa-based Taylor & Mathis of Florida LLC, development managerfor the entire project, was named developer of the year. The10-story, 249,600-square-foot MetWest One was completed lastspring, at which time it signed its first large tenant, engineeringfirm PBSJ Corp.

|

Executives with MetWest International's owner, New YorkCity-based MetLife Inc., say they are pleased with the project'sprogress so far, despite economic conditions that have stymiedother commercial development within the Tampa Bay market. Planscall for nearly a million square feet of class A offices in fourbuildings, along with at least 74,000 square feet of retail andrestaurant space, a 260-room upscale hotel and 254 residentialliving units.

|

"We have been very well received in the marketplace," GlennBecker, associate director of real estate investments with MetLifein Tampa, tells GlobeSt.com. He says the new office building isjust over half occupied, with PBSJ moving into its83,000-square-foot space in December.

|

Chuck Davis, regional director of MetLife's Tampa real estateinvestment office, adds that MetWest One aims to be more like anurban office building with high finishes and top-of-the-lineamenities. "We want quality credit tenants in the building," Davissays, noting that its current asking rents of $31 to $32 per squarefoot remain competitive in Tampa's Westshore submarket.

|

MetWest International has been in the works over the pastseveral years, replacing MetLife's local regional offices on thesite just south of Tampa International Airport. The company, whichoccupied the site since the early 1970s, now has offices nearInterstate 75 north of Tampa.

|

Future phases of development at MetWest International, part ofMetLife's current $45-million real estate investment portfolio,will be dictated by market demand, Davis says. In the meantime, theproject's retail segment is 30% leased and includes the local debutof Kona Grill, which opened in November.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.