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KANSAS CITY, MO-Garmin International Inc., a developer of GPS devices, has signed an 18,392-sf lease at the Bank of America Operations Center at 2001 N.E. 46th St. here. A key component of the deal, which includes two renewal and expansion options, is a commitment from landlord American Financial Realty Trust to expand parking at the 320,381-sf Bank of America Operations Center.

Garmin, which takes possession of its space on Feb. 1, initially plans to relocate about 50 call center employees from its headquarters in Olathe, KS, to the Bank of America Operations Center. Over the next year, the company expects to hire up to 100 more employees to work at the location. The parking lot expansion, which will add 150 spaces near Garmin’s entrance to the facility, is slated for completion in early summer. Rick Eiseman, managing director of office leasing and sales for AFRT, tells GlobeSt.com that the expansion will bump the parking ratio on the Garmin space to 8/1,000 sf. The parking ratio for the operations center is about 6/1,000 sf.

The Garmin deal marks the first multi-tenant lease transaction for the Bank of America Operations Center, which was acquired by AFRT as part of a portfolio purchase during fourth quarter 2004. Once Garmin moves in, the building will be 78% occupied, Eiseman says. Bank of America has a 15-year lease for most of the building, which was built in 1982 as a light manufacturing facility for Wilcox Electric. The property was later converted into a Tier-2 Facility by Bank of America.

Eiseman adds that AFRT is currently negotiating with a public entity interested in leasing about 18,000 sf in the building. That deal is expected to be final early next year. Quoted lease rates at Bank of America Operations Center are $12.50/sf for lower-floor space, and $13.75/sf for space in the rest of the building.

Tom O’Leary and Matt Eckert of Colliers Turley Martin Tucker led AFRT’s brokerage team. Ed Elder of Grubb & Ellis represented Garmin.

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