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PITTSBURGH-CardWorks Servicing LLC will be leasing 57,511 sf at Commerce Court, 225 W. Station Square Dr. CardWorks Servicing, formerly known as Cardholder Management Services LLC, is a subsidiary of Woodbury, NY-based CardWorks. The term of the lease is 10 years, says Harold Baldauf, general partner with CardWorks. The estimated cost for the project is $1.5 million.

CardWorks Servicing is a third party servicer of credit cards, debit cards and pre-funded cards. CardWorks Servicing has outbound call centers and inbound customer care centers in both New York and Pennsylvania. The New York centers will remain in Woodbury, NY, he says. The Pennsylvania outbound call center and inbound customer care center are expected to move into Commerce Court in early July. The company leases approximately 60,000 sf in both states, Baldauf says.

CardWorks is currently leasing space on two separate floors at 441 Smithfield St., here, and wanted to consolidate to one floor for better efficiency, he says. Commerce Court was chosen, in part, because “There are only a handful of buildings in Downtown Pittsburgh that can accommodate almost 60,000 sf on a single floor plate,” Baldauf says. Commerce Court is an eight-story office building with approximately 378,000 sf. Forest City Enterprises, headquartered in Cleveland, acquired the building in February 2007 for approximately $26.5 million, sources say. Major tenants include Wesco and MARC USA Advertising.

CardWorks also considered New York and Arizona before choosing Commerce Court to consolidate its operations, says Dennis Yablonsky, Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary. The company will receive a total of $468,000 in financial incentives from the state department of community and economic development including a $200,000 opportunity grant, $168,000 in job creation tax credits and $100,000 in job training funds. The financial incentives and “the overall cost of operations” were factors in the company’s decision to remain in Pennsylvania, Yablonsky says. Additionally, “They had a very good experience with their work force there,” he says. CardWorks is expected to create 56 new jobs within the next three years in addition to retaining 245 existing positions. “This move allows us to upgrade security, technology and redundancy” in addition to providing funds for training for employees, Baldauf says.

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