Landmark downtown Tampa tower changes hands again but this time keeps its name
Wake up and good morning. Downtown Tampa's 36 story SunTrust Financial Centre sold for $82 million. That's $32.5 million less than it sold for in 2007 but $8.5 million more than it sold for in 2004. Read the details of the deal by buyer Beacon Capital Partners in Boston from Australia's Charter Hall. Read more about the sale in this St. Petersburg Times story.
Who can recall the origins of this building? In 1988, the St. Pete Times reported that Homart Development Co. and Collier Enterprises "officially joined the downtown race for office space Thursday by unveiling plans for a 34-story (I guess the tower grew) tower scheduled for completion in early 1991. As the anchor tenant in the new tower, Southeast Bank will establish its county, bay area and Central Florida regional headquarters in the $75-million building... The new building, to be named the Southeast Financial Center, will rise from what now is a parking lot across the street to the east of Tampa City Center. "
Well that name did not last long. Southeast Bank, based in Miami, failed in the early 1990s and its remains were bought up by First Union (which in turn became Wachovia which is now Wells Fargo).
But the downtown tower switched gears. In 1991, the St. Pete Times reported that what was to be the Southeast Financial Center was renamed Landmark Centre, a name taken from the lead developer of the project, Landmarks Group, which is a partner in the project with Teachers Insurance Annuity Association of New York and Collier Enterprises of Naples.
By the mid-1990s, the tower's name became SunTrust Financial Centre after the old and thrifty SunBank decided to move out of its aging downtown facilities.
(Photos: Above, left, by Willie J, Allen Jr. The lights atop the building used to be colored with gels wrapped by hand around fluorescent tubes, but now the system uses LEDs and is controlled by a computer inside the building. Photo, right, by Atoyia Deans, shows men working on the SunTrust sign in 2009. St. Petersburg Times)
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist, St. Petersburg Times, soon to be known as the Tampa Bay Times.