PwC Signs Long-Term Lease for 250,000 Square Foot Build-to-Suit at MetWest International Big Four Firm Signals Confidence in Tampa Market, Eyes Future in New Facility

TAMPA, Fla., July 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- PwC US, the Big Four assurance, tax and advisory firm, has signed a long-term lease with MetLife for an approximately 250,000 square foot build-to-suit office building at MetWest International, the two organizations announced today.  

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100917/NY66894LOGO )

In signing a long-term deal to build a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly facility in the area, PwC is recommitting to its future - and signaling its confidence - in the greater Tampa community.  Approximately 2000 PwC partners and staff from the firm's Tampa practice office and Tampa Enterprise Solutions Center (ESC) will move to MetWest Two during the second quarter of 2013.  Currently, these operations are in separate locations at 4221 W. Boy Scout Boulevard and 3109 and 3111 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, respectively.  

The new building will be home to PwC's Tampa based client service professionals, an Assurance Delivery Center and a number of the firm's key internal functions, such as information technology; finance; human resources operations and systems; and learning and development. Taylor & Mathis, the development manager of the project, said construction of the new building will begin this week.

"MetLife is extremely pleased to welcome such a high caliber firm as PwC to MetWest International. The addition of PwC makes a definitive statement of support for MetWest as one of the top mixed-use developments in Florida.  The central location in the Westshore area as well as the many high-quality amenities the development offers are strategic factors contributing to the success of this project," stated Chuck Davis, regional director of MetLife's Tampa real estate investment office.

"We remain committed to serving the business community in Tampa for the long haul.  PwC's success is based on building relationships, delivering quality and value, and winning in the marketplace.  The new building will support all of these elements locally for both our clients and our people, particularly as our ESC and practice teams work alongside each other in the same facility," said Mike Quackenbush, managing partner of PwC's Tampa practice office.

"PwC has been part of the Tampa community for many years, and we're extremely pleased to remain in the market and build a world class facility here.  Our biggest asset is our people, and today's deal will enable current and future generations of PwC professionals to work in a beautiful, state-of-the-art environment that provides greater flexibility to accommodate the way they want to live and work," added Stuart Fulton, PwC's Chief Information Officer and managing partner of the firm's Tampa Enterprise Solutions Center.

A key factor in PwC's site selection was the opportunity to consolidate multiple operations into a single-tenant new development building and construct new space to accommodate today's non-traditional, collaborative work style and provide increased flexibility for its employees. By building instead of renovating, the firm has the opportunity to design the space in a way that it could not with existing structures.

"I would like to thank PwC for their vote of confidence in our community and their continued investment of jobs and capital in our city," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.  "PwC could choose to locate in any city.  I am both proud and grateful that they have decided to continue their long-standing relationship with this community."

"The Enterprise Solutions Center has been a perfect fit for Tampa's business community and an asset to the state's financial services sector," added Gray Swoope, president & CEO of Enterprise Florida Inc. "Its continued presence will strengthen Florida's competitive position for obtaining more high value jobs in financial and professional services."

"PwC's decision to continue investing in Tampa is welcomed news and we thank them for their strong commitment to the area," said Hillsborough County Commission Chair Al Higginbotham.

PwC was represented by Timothy J. Dempsey and Bill Obregon of CB Richard Ellis and Robert Reichman, Esq. of Wilk Auslander LLP.  MetLife was represented by Hank Brenner and Angela Odell of Taylor & Mathis.

About MetWest International

MetWest International is an award winning, mixed-use center being redeveloped by MetLife. Located across from Tampa International Airport and International Plaza in the Westshore Business District, MetWest International includes One MetroCenter and the Gold LEED Certified MetWest One.  In addition to MetWest Two, the PwC build-to-suit, a third office building will be started as demand dictates.  Two well known restaurants, Kona Grill and Texas de Brazil, have located their first Tampa locations in the project's retail village.  When complete, the pedestrian-friendly, urban-oriented development will include:

  • Nearly one million square feet of Class A office space
  • 74,200 square foot retail village
  • 260 room full-service upscale hotel
  • 254 residential units

The project has received four Best of the Best NAIOP awards, including Outstanding Green Building/Project, Outstanding Office Building (MetWest One) and Outstanding Retail Building. Additionally, Taylor & Mathis was awarded Developer of the Year for their role in developing the mixed-use project. 

Other awards include The United States Green Building Council's (USGBC) Florida Gulf Coast Chapter Outstanding Project of the Year (MetWest One), The Greater Tampa Bay chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Office Building of the Year and the BOMA 360 Performance Building designation (One MetroCenter). Both MetWest One and One MetroCenter have achieved EPA Energy Star ratings. In addition, MetWest Two has been designed for LEED Certification by the US Green Building Council.

About the PwC Network

PwC firms provide industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to enhance value for their clients.  More than 161,000 people in 154 countries in firms across the PwC network share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice. See www.pwc.com for more information.

"PwC" and "PwC US" refer to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership, which is a member firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited, each member firm of which is a separate and independent legal entity.

About MetLife

Through its Real Estate Investments department, MetLife oversees a well diversified real estate investment portfolio of approximately $58 billion, which is one of the largest in the U.S. and consists of real estate equities, commercial mortgages and agricultural mortgages. MetLife is a global leader in real estate investment and real estate asset management, with a vast network of regional offices that keep in close contact with the major real estate markets. MetLife's real estate investment focus includes office, multi-family, industrial and retail properties. For more information, visit www.metlife.com/realestate.

About CB Richard Ellis

CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. (NYSE: CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world's largest commercial real estate services firm (in terms of 2010 revenue).  The Company has approximately 31,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through more than 300 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CB Richard Ellis offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. Please visit our Web site at www.cbre.com.

About Taylor & Mathis

Taylor & Mathis serves as the development manager for the project and handles leasing and management responsibilities.  Taylor & Mathis is a diversified real estate company specializing in the development, marketing and management of office buildings, suburban office parks, industrial parks and mixed-use projects. Founded in 1967, the company has developed properties exceeding $1.9 billion in value and has established itself as one of the most respected regional real estate firms in the United States. Based in Atlanta, with offices in Tampa and Miami, Taylor & Mathis concentrates its business activity in primary growth markets in the southeastern United States. For more information, visit www.TaylorMathis.com.

SOURCE PwC; MetLife



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