The Tampa Bay Business Journal | May 6, 2020
Written by: Ashley Gurbal Kritzer | Photo: The completed Renaissance Center #7 © ICA
Centene Corp., the St. Louis-based health insurance giant that acquired WellCare Health Plans Inc. in early 2020, has signed a deal to expand its presence in a suburban Tampa office park.
Vision Properties, the developer of Renaissance Center, has leased the entirety of Renaissance Center 7 to Centene, according to real estate sources who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the deal.
Renaissance Center 7 is a 118,808 square-foot building that broke ground speculatively, without a tenant in place.
WellCare has long occupied multiple buildings in that office park. Sources say Centene will move employees from other offices elsewhere — including on Rocky Point and a location near Memorial Highway — to the new space in Renaissance Center. Vision executives Fred Arena and William Bertolero declined to comment on the deal, citing confidentiality agreements. Bertolero said Vision “will be turning over the building to the tenant in June for construction of the tenant improvements.”
A Centene spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment Wednesday. The Centene lease is the second major success Vision has had with speculative office construction in Tampa. The developer broke ground on Renaissance Center 6 in 2017 and landed the regional headquarters of AAA Inc., The Auto Club Group, shortly after beginning construction. Vision paid $108 million for the office park, which then totaled 573,053 square feet, in early 2016.
Renaissance Center is now 840,000 square feet, and Vision isn’t done yet. The developer is beginning construction drawings for Renaissance Center 8, slated to break ground in early 2021, and starting to lay the groundwork for Renaissance Center 9 as well. Each would be around 220,000 square feet, and Bertolero said Vision has fielded inquiries from multiple tenants that are interested in 8 with the opportunity to expand into 9.
Renaissance Center 8 would break ground speculatively; leasing activity on that building would drive the construction of Renaissance Center 9.
Renaissance Center 7 represents a $40 million investment; buildings 8 and 9 represent about $60 million each.
Once the park is completely built out, the office space will total nearly 1.3 million square feet. The same Tampa-based team that built buildings 6 and 7 — Horton, Harley, and Carter as the architect, Itasca Construction Associates as the general contractor and civil engineer Fuxan Engineering — will build the park’s final two buildings, Bertolero said.
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