WellCare Health Plans Inc., one of the largest managed health care providers in the United States and the largest public company based in Tampa, has committed to keeping its headquarters in Tampa through 2030.
WellCare (NYSE: WCG) renewed the lease for its corporate campus at 8725 Henderson Road and three satellite offices in Tampa.
The area’s business friendly environment and workforce are behind the decision to stay put, said Drew Asher, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
“It’s a place where people from all over the country want to live, work and play. This has helped us as we continue to recruit and retain top talent,” Asher said during a news conference at the company’s headquarters.
WellCare wanted to take advantage of favorable lease terms, said Ken Burdick, CEO.
“We were not being courted by another city,” Burdick said. “We were proactive and we decided to extend not just for a few years, but out into the future, so that not only would Tampa know this was going to be home, but our associates would know this would continue to be home.”
It’s an exciting time for the community, said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn at the news conference.
“We’ve become a mecca for talent, for intellectual capital and for bright young people who are flocking to the Bay area to work for companies like this,” Buckhorn said. “This for our city is a pivotal moment and to have corporate partners like you as we go along this journey and continue on that upward trajectory, knowing full well that you are an economic engine helping us to attract young folks and millennials from all over the country who want to come and be a part of this place that we call Tampa.”
WellCare’s 380,000-square-foot campus sits on 71 acres and includes five office buildings, a cafeteria, a fitness center, walking trails, basketball courts, tennis courts, covered parking and walkways. It’s adjacent to scenic wildlife preserves.
The company also leases 810,000 square feet of rental space. Cushman & Wakefield represented WellCare in the transaction.
WellCare has grown significantly since the company was founded by a group of Tampa physicians, including Dr. Kiran Patel, in 1985. The company went public and moved to its current corporate headquarters in 2004, when it employed about 1,500 associates. It had about $1.4 billion in revenue in 2004.
WellCare has grown through acquisitions and new product offerings, including a Medicare Prescription Part D prescription drug plan. The company had $17 billion in revenue in 2017 and 9,000 full-time employees as of Dec. 31. About half of its employees live and work in Tampa Bay.
WellCare’s annual economic impact in Florida is about $7.3 billion, according to the company.
The Part D offerings have put WellCare in every state. The company also offers Medicaid plans in 11 states and Medicare Advantage plans in 18 states.
The company also is expanding its presence in three cities outside of Tampa — Houston; Phoenix; and Nashville, Tennessee.
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