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Commercial Real Estate
Business Observer Thursday, Jun. 24, 2021 11 months ago

Area office building, after $3M in upgrades, signs new tenants

Fifth Third Center’s growth comes as vacancy has edged up amid negative absorption brought about by COVID-19 pandemic.

Tampa’s office market was staggered by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year, but at least one downtown tower is showing signs of recovery.

Since the start of 2021, a dozen leases have been signed at Fifth Third Center, a 19-story building at 201 E. Kennedy Blvd. In all, additions, renewals and expansions have totaled more than 68,000 square feet, says building leasing agent CBRE Group.

Education-based staffing firm Sunbelt and AIM Engineering & Surveying Inc. leased full floors in the 281,187-square-foot building, taking down 16,489 square feet and 11,955 square feet, respectively.

Sunbelt will relocate to the building’s 10th floor from WeWork Place downtown, while AIM Engineering will occupy space on the building’s 18th floor.

At the same time, Stanton IP Law Firm has more than tripled its space in the building, to 6,980 square feet, and LCG Advisors more than doubled its commitment there, to 9,969 square feet. “Despite the challenges that the pandemic brought, we remained confident in the overall strength of the Tampa office market and we’re very excited to see leasing activity pick up this year,” says Tom Grace, a managing partner with Fifth Third Center owner Farley White Interests, in a statement. “As Tampa continues to grow, we’re thrilled to have such a high-caliber of tenants choose to lease and expand their offices at Fifth Third Center.”

Boston-based Farley White acquired the building in October 2017 for $52.5 million and has since invested more than $3 million in renovations and improvements to the building’s common areas, lobby, parking garage, elevators, stairways and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. It also added a new fitness center.

CBRE Group’s KC Tenukas, Matt Watson and Molly Molloy Catlett, in the commercial real estate brokerage’s Tampa’s office, negotiated the deals on behalf of Farley White.

“We have several deals in the pipeline for the second half of the year and it has become very clear that Tampa will continue to benefit from the growth of both existing companies as well as in-bound migration,” says Tenukas, a CBRE senior vice president, in a statement.

 Amid the pandemic, Tampa’s downtown vacancy rate has edged upward, to 15% at the end of the first quarter.







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