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Towering Figure

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  • | 11:00 a.m. July 21, 2017
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Tampa Bay–Lakeland
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Tampa's tallest office tower will officially celebrate its silver anniversary next week, but 100 North Tampa's milestone is about more than just a birthday.

The 25th anniversary of the 42-story skyscraper's completion also says a considerable amount about the trend toward re-urbanization, the complexities of development, businesses' “flight to quality” in the Tampa area and the overall changes in office usage over the past two-plus decades.

For the 900,000-square-foot tower isn't only the tallest building along the Gulf Coast — at 579 feet in height — it's also the newest. Since summer 1992, when the building at 100 N. Tampa St. debuted after nearly two years of construction, not a single office tower has been built in downtown Tampa.

That's because in the years since, demand has undulated and rental rates — while edging above $30 per square foot for Class A buildings like 100 North Tampa in the central business district — haven't consistently increased enough to justify new construction.

And while that lack of development could change next year, if the region's white-collar job growth continues to flow as it has since 2012 and either of a pair of planned projects move forward, for now 100 North Tampa remains the new kid on the block.

That newness could explain, in part, the building's steadfast popularity.

Developed by a joint venture of the Paragon Group Inc. and AIG Real Estate Investment and Management Co. Inc. from a design by HKS Architects, of Dallas, 100 North Tampa today is 99% occupied and has been for much of its history.

General contractor Beers Construction, of Atlanta, didn't skimp in applying first-rate materials, and plenty of them, either. Rosa Dante granite, mined in Spain, covers the exterior. The tower's foundation is 9 feet thick and weighs more than 35 million pounds — with enough concrete to pave a two-lane highway for nearly three miles.

“I think we're the most successfully, consistently occupied building in all of downtown Tampa,” says Phil Dinkins, director of leasing at 100 North Tampa for Cushman & Wakefield, the commercial real estate services firm that both leases and manages the property.

Among the building's largest tenants are law firm Holland & Knight, investment house Morgan Stanley and Foley & Lardner, which has occupied the tower since its opening.

“We really like the location downtown, the notoriety of the property and the amenities that are provided in the building,” says Tracy Tennyson, office operations supervisor at Foley & Lardner.

“And they do a lot of things to keep working here fun,” she adds. “They have ice cream socials for tenants, and once a year they provide a terrific breakfast for the businesses in the building.”

In addition to the building's 603 on-site parking spaces, 100 North Tampa contains a Regions Bank branch in its lobby; a fitness center; dry cleaner; shoe shine stand; a full-time concierge; and a sundries store.

Tennyson adds that management is quick to rectify any issues that arise.

“If anything happens, it's usually dealt with right away.”

Prudential Real Estate, which acquired the building in June 2007 for an estimated $127 million, has also been at the vanguard of a green push that has put 100 North Tampa at the forefront of environmentally conscious workplaces in the Tampa area.

Beginning in 2008 — and again every year after — the building has received an Energy Star designation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy for being among the top properties nationwide for energy performance.

In 2009, 100 North Tampa received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver status from the U.S. Green Building Council, a five-year award that recognizes properties that have implemented energy-savings initiatives. The LEED designation was renewed again in 2014.

And last year, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), a nationwide group that provides so-called gold standards for landlords, gave 100 North Tampa its BOMA 360 certification, the group's equivalent of LEED designation.

“There have been a rather significant number of initiatives put in place to decrease energy and water usage in the building,” says Cal Buikema, 100 North Tampa's senior property manager, who has worked in the building for the past decade.

“Ownership is very environmentally conscious, and as managers, we are as well.”

The tower's status as tallest and newest in Tampa could change in the coming year, however.

Feldman Equities and Tower Realty Partners plan to proceed with Riverwalk Tower downtown — a mixed-use building that would stretch 52 stories into the sky and contain roughly 200,000 square feet of new office space.

Also downtown, Strategic Property Partners, the joint venture between Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment LLC, has proposed building a 500,000-square-foot office tower as part of its $3 billion redevelopment of the city's Channel District.

Neither project has yet to break ground, and Strategic Property Partners has made no secret of its desire to land a corporate or regional headquarters operation to Tampa to occupy its new office tower.

To maintain its presence and functionality, Prudential plans later this year to begin a roughly $5 million upgrade to 100 North Tampa's elevators.

As part of the modernization, which will start in September and won't be completed until late 2019, Buikema and his team will replace nearly all the major components with in the building's elevator banks.


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