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ST. PETERSBURG, FL-CFIC Home Mortgage Co., a 14-year-old lender with 2004 production volume of $2.1 billion, has moved into new headquarters space, taking 30,364 sf on the sixth and ninth floors of the 17-story, 242,276-sf First Central Tower in Downtown. The lease brings the 21-year-old building to 100% occupancy for owner Osprey S.A. Ltd. of Brighton, MI.

CFIC, with a corporate staff of 70 and a total workforce of 1,400 employees at 300 branches in 47 states and the District of Columbia, is leasing the new space at 360 Central Ave. for six years at an estimated aggregate rent of $3.3 million. The average asking gross rent at the building is $18 per sf, full service.

Laura Malone of the Staubach Co.’s Orlando Corporate Services Division negotiated for the tenant. Wendy S. Giffin of Osprey Management Co. LLC represented the property owner. Cal Peck, director of design and construction services for Staubach, is overseeing the project.

CFIC scouted the St. Petersburg area for its headquarters space. “At the time that CFIC was searching for space, the St. Petersburg CBD market for class A space was at about 13% [vacancy] and tightening,” Malone tells GlobeSt.com. “By the end of 2004, that market was at about 8%. At the time, the CBD was not as strong as some of the other areas of St. Petersburg, which [vacancy] rates hovering between 4 to 6%.

“There was a selection of properties within the area that could offer CFIC the expansion space they needed for their immediate growth, but few could give them the options they needed on a long-term scale.” The St. Petersburg CBD is currently at about a 4% vacancy for class A space and “has reversed roles with the surrounding area by becoming the stronger area of the St. Petersburg [office] market,” Malone tells GlobeSt.com.

CFIC’s new office space was built at a $953,000 construction cost which included both the tenant build-out and landlord based building upgrades, Malone says.

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