Website says 36-story skyscraper in downtown Tampa cost $1.8 billion to develop
A London-based financial website contends that the 36-story SunTrust Financial Centre office building in downtown Tampa is among the most expensive structures ever built in the U.S.
Lovemoney.com ranked 25 buildings nationwide based on their cost in current U.S. dollars, accounting for inflation. Only one building in Florida, curiously, made the cut.
SunTrust Financial Centre came in at No. 11, based on a cost of $1.8 billion. If that amount is accurate, the 528,000-square-foot tower at 401 E. Jackson St. in downtown Tampa would have cost more than the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C.; the MGM Grand Resort and Casino in Las Vegas; and 7 World Trade Center, the Bank of America Tower and the New York Times Building, all in Manhattan.
Completed in 1992 by Landmark Cos., the Tampa tower is known for its pyramid-shaped roofline that alights after dark. At 525 feet in height, it is the city’s fourth-tallest building.
Lovemoney says the most expensive edifice ever constructed in the U.S. was built by the federal government in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The K-25 Plant, as it became known, cost the equivalent of $7.1 billion — based on current U.S. dollars — when completed in 1944, the website says.
The building, a U-shaped structure that measured four miles in length, was used to develop the country’s first atomic bombs.
SunTrust Financial Centre’s current owner, which got a proverbial steal, relatively speaking, when it bought the tower in September 2015 for $124 million, says it’s extremely well built.
“I’m not shocked by that figure,” Dan Woodward, a Highwoods Properties Inc. vice president in charge of the company’s Tampa operation, says of the $1.8 billion.
“When we did our due diligence, we found that it had been very well kept up and was in very good condition,” says Woodward. “It’s aged extremely well, which is a testament to how well it was constructed.”