MetLife eyeing Ballantyne
Financial services giant MetLife Inc. is eyeing a building in Ballantyne Corporate Park for a major expansion that could bring roughly 1,000 jobs to Charlotte, real estate sources say.
The insurer is considering leasing roughly 250,000 square feet in the park’s new 10-story Gragg building, at the northwest corner of Ballantyne Commons Parkway and North Community House Road.
The deal is not done, and MetLife is considering other cities, possibly St. Louis, according to people familiar with the negotiations.
MetLife would likely receive state and local incentives for the move, sources say.
Bissell Cos., which developed Ballantyne Corporate Park, declined comment.
Despite the down economy, Bissell has continued to build large amounts of speculative office space so it can stay ahead of the competition and recruit new, large tenants. Large amounts of contiguous space are hard to come by in the Charlotte market. The park’s Gragg building, and new, similarly sized Woodward building, are the only local properties with 250,000 square feet of available, continguous space.
The park has also received numerous awards, including the 2010 International Suburban Office Park of the Year.
MeLife spokesman John Calagna said in a statement that the New York-based insurer is reviewing its real estate footprint and is considering changing locations.
“MetLife continually evaluates its real estate footprint to ensure we are best positioned to achieve our business objectives, deliver superior customer service, support long-term business growth and operate effectively and efficiently,” he said. “We are currently undergoing a review of our real estate footprint which includes strategies around consolidating and exiting certain locations. We are in the process of conducting due diligence on these locations and do not have any additional information to provide at this point.”