Westfield Insurance, also known as Ohio Farmers Insurance Company, is a national insurance provider with offices located in 45 states, several spanning across the state of Ohio.
Over the past few years, Westfield has worked to implement a workplace strategy program that illustrates the organization’s philosophy of an ideal workplace for its employees. Westfield first exercised the new strategy with its headquarters in Westfield Center, Ohio, before deploying in service offices nationwide.
In order to adopt this updated workplace strategy, Westfield’s Columbus location was in need of a new building that could support uninterrupted access to power and accommodate two different unique business units. When it came time to relocate and implement its workplace strategy for its Columbus office location, Westfield turned to its national corporate real estate portfolio manager, Allegro Real Estate Brokers & Advisors.
In Search of a Space for Two Business Units, Continuous Power Supply, & More
Prior to relocating its Columbus office location, Allegro helped Westfield to define several key priorities for this transaction:
- Quantifiable value.
- Ability to provide uninterrupted power.
- Flexible space to suit two different business units.
- Accommodating moving timeline that aligned with existing building obligations.
- Close proximity to its existing location.
- Convenient location with manageable traffic patterns.
This Columbus location required an office space that could accommodate both its general Service Office and Westfield Services’ embedded customer service center, Westfield Services. In addition, the subsidiary, Westfield Services, required 24/7 onsite technology infrastructure.
Not only did Westfield need to find a building with a satisfactory generator and space for two unique office plans, but it also wished to avoid paying on both its existing building and the new lease at the same time.
To achieve a smooth and successful relocation, Westfield sought guidance from the Allegro team.
A Tenant-Minded Partner, Focused on Timeliness, Budget, and Uninterrupted Needs
In this transaction, Allegro served as Westfield’s exclusive tenant representative, supporting Westfield through each stage of the asset acquisition process.
Allegro first identified Westfield’s objectives and timeline for decision milestones. Then, the team conducted a market survey of available options, followed by touring a shortlist of properties that could handle Westfield’s need for uninterrupted power.
After touring relevant buildings, Allegro developed and managed the distribution of RFPs, evaluated proposed terms, and performed qualitative and quantitative analyses. Negotiations with multiple alternatives ultimately led to Allegro’s recommendation and letter of intent for Westfield to relocate to the Westar development in the Columbus suburb of Westerville.
Through the entire representation process, Allegro ensured that Westfield’s top priorities were met. To accommodate the company’s relocation timeline and prevent overlap, Allegro negotiated a 10-month free rent period. The team was also able to obtain an additional rent credit (in response to the landlord’s delay in paying the tenant improvement allowance), and secure an energy efficiency rent credit called BusinessWISE through the City of Westerville.
This new Columbus space now serves as the largest lease in Westfield’s portfolio, and the second largest facility outside of Westfield’s headquarters.
Relocation Saves Westfield Insurance $2.3 Million
Through aggressive negotiation and diligent representation, Allegro was able to save Westfield Insurance a total of $2.3 million. The value of these savings can be attributed to negotiating a lower base rental rate, a 10-month period of free rent, and a significant landlord-funded tenant improvement allowance.
The Allegro team was able to secure a base rental rate well below the asking rate. Meanwhile, the negotiated 10-month period of free rent not only saved Westfield money, but also helped with the timeline of buildout, sale of its existing building, and moving costs and transition to the new office space. Additionally, the significant tenant improvement allowance enabled Westfield to align with its nationwide workplace strategy.
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