TAMPA, FL-Given its highly visible location just south of the city’s airport, MetWest International gets plenty of notice from motorists along Boy Scout Boulevard. Now the 32-acre mixed-use project is receiving added recognition from the local brokerage community.

The Tampa Bay chapter of NAIOP named the new MetWest One office building as its outstanding office building for 2009, while Tampa-based Taylor & Mathis of Florida LLC, development manager for the entire project, was named developer of the year. The 10-story, 249,600-square-foot MetWest One was completed last spring, at which time it signed its first large tenant, engineering firm PBSJ Corp.

Executives with MetWest International’s owner, New York City-based MetLife Inc., say they are pleased with the project’s progress so far, despite economic conditions that have stymied other commercial development within the Tampa Bay market. Plans call for nearly a million square feet of class A offices in four buildings, along with at least 74,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, a 260-room upscale hotel and 254 residential living units.

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