1. Real Estate

Mosaic picks Bank of America Plaza in downtown Tampa for HQ

TAMPA — Bank of America Plaza in downtown Tampa will be the new corporate headquarters of the Mosaic Company, the first Fortune 500 firm to relocate to the Tampa Bay area.

The phosphate mining giant announced in May that it was moving its corporate offices from Minneapolis to Hillsborough County but the exact site had not been known until today.

Banyan Capital, owner of the 42-story tower at 101 Kennedy Boulevard, said Mosaic will rent 20,000 square feet on the 25th floor. The move-in date has not been announced nor has the number of employees who will work out of the space.

Mosaic is the world's largest combined producer of potash and phosphates, two key plant nutrients, and its presence in Florida is huge, with 3,000 employees, 3,000 contractors and a Florida payroll of at least $465 million a year.

The corporate relocation to Florida will also give Mosaic better access to its business operations in South America.

"This move will drive improved efficiency and good value,'' Joe O'Rourke, Mosaic's president and CEO, said last spring.

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Tampa Bay already has several Fortune 500 companies including Publix, Tech Data and Jabil. But getting a Fortune 500 headquarters to relocate here has long been a goal of bay area corporate recruiters. That group includes Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, who created a development company called Strategic Property Partners with Cascade Investment, the personal wealth fund of Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates.

Vinik has said that his company's No. 1 goal was to land a corporate headquarters for his $3-billion Water Street Tampa project, south of downtown. In May, a Mosaic spokesperson said the company was considering various locations.

Other tenants in Bank of America Plaza include the bank, Merrill Lynch, the brokerage CBRE, which represented Mosaic in the leasing, and the Tampa Club, a popular business and social club. The tower, built in the 1980s and spanning two city blocks, was Tampa's tallest building until construction of 100 North Tampa in 1992.

Please check back for updates.

Information for Tampa Bay Times files was used in this report. Susan Taylor Martin can be contacted at or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susankate