F&G Life moving to 100 E. Pratt State grant helped lure insurance offices to downtown tower

June 08, 1996|By Kevin L. McQuaid | Kevin L. McQuaid,SUN STAFF

Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Co. yesterday announced plans to relocate its headquarters to the skyscraper at 100 E. Pratt St., ending a seven-month search that could have taken the 90-person division of USF&G Corp. out of state.

"Downtown was most central for all our employees," said Harry N. Stout, F&G Life's president. "And it's also conducive to doing business for us because of its proximity to hotels, restaurants and the BWI Airport."

Under a lease with 100 E. Pratt St. owner IBM Corp., F&G Life will pay about $3.1 million for 28,000 square feet through 2001. Part of the relocation cost will be offset by a $600,000 state grant.

The state provided the financial incentives in late April to induce the company to select Maryland over Tennessee and Florida for its headquarters.

"This is an example of a business coming downtown," said M. J. "Jay" Brodie, president of the Baltimore Development Corp., the city's quasi-public economic development agency.

"Hopefully, it'll be the first of many."

F&G Life's move in August from Mount Washington will bring the 28-story tower to full occupancy. In selecting the 603,000-square-foot building, however, F&G Life passed over the 35-story USF&G Tower controlled by its parent. The company declined to identify reasons for the decision.

"I think they chose 100 E. Pratt because it locates them on a single floor and because of the numerous amenities the building has to offer," said L. Bruce Matthai, a Colliers Pinkard principal responsible for leasing the building for IBM.

F&G Life would have had to occupy three floors in the USF&G Tower.

Pub Date: 6/08/96

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