Kforce to sell Tampa headquarters, shift employees to hybrid work

The staffing and professional services company, one of Tampa Bay’s largest, will close the $24 million sale in May.
Kforce Inc. plans to sell its corporate headquarters in Ybor City this spring.
Kforce Inc. plans to sell its corporate headquarters in Ybor City this spring. [ Kforce ]
Published April 27, 2021|Updated April 27, 2021

Kforce, one of the largest public companies in Tampa Bay, has reached a deal to sell its Tampa corporate headquarters as it shifts its employees to a hybrid work environment.

The staffing and professional services company expects to close the $24 million sale of its office in Ybor City in May, then lease it back for 18 months while searching for a “future state-of-the-art corporate headquarters” in Tampa Bay, the company stated in an announcement.

That future headquarters, however, will have a smaller footprint than the company’s 130,000-square-foot home at 1001 E Palm Ave. Employees have mostly worked remotely since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. But even before then, Kforce was using only about 50 percent of its headquarters’ capacity, CEO and chairperson David Dunkel said in a statement.

“Given the underutilization when combined with the need to satisfy our employees’ desires for a more flexible, technology-enabled future work environment, it was no longer necessary to maintain a large real estate footprint in our corporate headquarters,” Dunkel stated.

That makes Kforce the biggest Tampa Bay company thus far to fully, publicly embrace a hybrid work environment in the wake of the pandemic.

Related: Imagining a post-pandemic workplace: smaller, cleaner, with fewer coworkers

Kforce began leasing space in its Ybor City home in 2001, then purchased the property for $28.5 million in 2010, according to property records.

The company has more than 2,200 employees worldwide, including more than 600 in Tampa Bay, as well as nearly 12,000 consultants on assignment to other companies, working in technology, finance, accounting and other roles. Its permanent headcount is down from a peak of more than 2,800 in 2016.

Kforce saw nearly $1.4 billion in revenue in 2020, a record, as well as $56 million in net income. The company earned some $114.7 million in COVID-19-related government contracts, helping to offset declines across the board as companies cut back on hiring during the pandemic.

Kforce president Joseph Liberatore said the decision to sell was based on trends shaping the corporate environment post-pandemic, as well as feedback from employees who have enjoyed the flexibility of working from home.

“The pandemic has permanently changed the way we work and has showcased our ability to thrive remotely,” Liberatore said in a statement. “We believe our future lies in a technology-enabled, fully integrated hybrid work environment.

The buyer of the headquarters was not immediately known. The company expects to provide more details during its next quarterly earnings call on Monday.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.