Here’s the full story from C.R. Roberts:
DaVita will remain in downtown Tacoma.
With some 900 employees at its Tacoma support center, the kidney-care service company is the city’s second-largest private employer and over the past year had considered moving its operations elsewhere.
Full details of the deal, signed Thursday, have not been released. The company did offer a statement late Friday afternoon saying it "has completed negotiations to extend its lease on office space at 1423 Pacific Ave. as well as at the Columbia Bank Center."
Jim Hilger, DaVita vice president and controller, said in the statement, "Tacoma is a great location for many of DaVita’s important support operations."
He continued, "The City of Tacoma and the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County have gone out of their way to assist DaVita during our search for solutions to our local office space needs."
"I’m really glad about the news," said Ryan Petty, director of the city’s Community and Economic Development Department, on Friday. "I think it’s just tremendous. Here we are in this recession, and a company that has a lot of available choices makes a decision to stay downtown. I think they see strategic advantages in that."
Offers, Petty said, had come to DaVita from "across the South Sound region, and Tacoma, and south of Tacoma. It’s nice to have this as an indicator of corporate resolve to stay here."
Although full details of the deal were not released, reports earlier this year had the city proposing sales tax exemptions on new construction, the provision of parking downtown and infrastructure improvements including new sewer connections.
In Thursday’s deal, the company agreed to a long-term lease – perhaps for a period of 10 years – on the current Schoenfeld Furniture Building, along with a sublease of at least three floors in the nearby Columbia Bank Center.
The lease on the Schoenfeld property had been set to expire in April 2011.
"It looks positive for DaVita to stay in Tacoma. We’re close to final execution," said Nick Cassino, managing director of the Tacoma office of CB Richard Ellis Commercial Real Estate, which led the Schoenfeld negotiations and examined other possible locations on behalf of DaVita.
"DaVita has made a long-term commitment," he said.
John Barline, who led negotiations on behalf of the Columbia space, said Friday, "I think that’s a great win for Tacoma and a big win for DaVita. It’s a positive for everybody. It’s a positive for the Columbia Bank Center. We welcome DaVita as a new tenant."
The Columbia space had been occupied by Tacoma-based Russell Investments, which is itself reviewing siting options in the area.
Bruce Kendall, president and CEO of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County, said Friday that efforts continue to retain Russell in its Tacoma headquarters.
Meeting a Friday deadline for proposals, a group of Tacoma proponents made a final submission to Russell on Friday, Kendall said.
"We’re in the midst of very robust negotiations with Russell, and those continue," he said.