KINGSTON, ONTARIO-Financial services industry risk management program provider Assurant Group has leased 44,055 sf here for a new call center here. Situated on a 14.5-acre site on Gardiner’s Road, the facility is scheduled to open in June 2003 and the company has plans for further expansion.

Jim Trobaugh, Rob Marsh and Chris Hook of CB Richard Ellis’ Phoenix office represented the tenant, American Bankers Insurance of Miami, which does business as Assurant Group. Building owner Tapp Holdings ULC of Oklahoma City was unrepresented in the transaction. The 10-year deal is valued at $5.7 million over the contract term.

CBRE’s Call Center Solutions Group was charged with finding a location for the facility. Kingston won the day when it was identified by CCSG as having the appropriate workforce for Assurant’s needs. CCSG’s former placement of an Assurant call center in Lawton, OK and its familiarity with the Canadian marketplace were instrumental in its selection by the firm to locate its new call center.

Company officials say the 252-seat call center will create 350 new jobs while reducing Assurant operating cost through consolidation of other Toronto-based operations. Assurant is part of Fortis, an international financial services provider active in insurance, banking and investment.

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