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TAMPA, FL-The local office of Charleston, SC-based Greystar Real Estate Partners will move into twice its current amount of space at the MetWest One building in the Westshore submarket. The multifamily developer signed a lease for 13,050 square feet with building owner MetLife Inc. and will become the third tenant in Tampa’s newest class A office building effective Jan. 1, 2010.

Jon Slater, managing director with Studley in Tampa and Greystar’s representative in lease negotiations, says larger space allows the company to consolidate two local operations into a single location. “This building summed up really well what they were looking for,” Slater tells GlobeSt.com.

Besides a centralized location within Westshore, along Boy Scout Boulevard near Tampa International Airport, Greystar also sought more modern amenities in a newer building, Slater says. He did not disclose additional terms of the lease.

The 240,320-square-foot MetWest One building, part of the 32-acre MetWest International mixed-use development, has signed two other tenants since opening earlier this year. Skanska USA Building Inc., the contractor for the $200-million project, occupies at least 20,000 square feet, while PBSJ Corp. signed this past spring to take 83,000 square feet in January.

Being among the first tenants in a new building allows for certain rent breaks and concessions that may not be available to later signers, according to local office brokers. The Westshore submarket posted 18.8% vacancy at midyear, with average class A asking rents averaging just below $30 per square foot, Cushman & Wakefield research shows. MetWest One’s asking rent is $32.50 per square foot.

MetLife’s standing as a financially strong landlord should serve as a strong tenant draw for MetWest One, says Chuck Davis, regional director of MetLife’s Tampa real estate investment office. “We believe MetWest will continue to attract tenants like Greystar who seek a superior mixed-use environment within the popular Westshore area,” Davis says.

Locally based Taylor & Mathis of Florida Inc. is development manager at MetWest and handles management and office leasing. Angela Odell with Taylor & Mathis represented the landlord in lease negotiations.

MetWest International is being built in several phases, with MetWest One as the first of three office buildings. A 74,200-square-foot retail center has been completed, while a 260-room upscale hotel and 254 residential units are now in the design phase.

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