MetLife bringing U.S. retail business HQ to Ballantyne

Published: Apr. 9, 2013 at 4:36 PM EDT|Updated: May. 9, 2013 at 4:36 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Just a month after announcing that it would bring near 1,300 jobs to Charlotte, MetLife has settled on a place to settle in.

On Tuesday morning, MetLife, Inc. announced that it would establish its U.S. Retail business headquarters in Ballantyne Corporate Park.

MetLife will occupy the entire Gragg Building as well as a portion of the Woodward Building, located at the northwest corner of Ballantyne Commons Parkway and North Community House Road.

"We selected Ballantyne Corporate Park because of its impressive facilities and ideal location," said Eric Steigerwalt, executive vice president and head of MetLife's U.S. Retail business. "Ballantyne differentiated itself as a true corporate community, and we know our employees will be attracted to the area's amenities and the great quality of life that Charlotte provides."

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory announced in March that MetLife, Inc. intends to create 2,600 jobs in Charlotte and Cary by the end of 2015.

The company expects to invest, or cause to be invested, $125.5 million into its new Mecklenburg and Wake County campuses.

"We're proud that a strong corporate partner like MetLife has decided to invest in North Carolina," Gov. McCrory said in a news release in March.

"These jobs will complement our financial services sector in Charlotte and our high-tech hub in Wake County, two distinct sectors we want to expand."

MetLife plans to establish hubs for its U.S. Retail Business in Charlotte and for its Global Technology & Operations organization in Cary.

New positions would include product management, marketing, sales and customer support in Charlotte and information technology positions in Cary focused on delivering global solutions to support MetLife and the customers it serves.

The state Economic Investment Committee voted to award a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) to MetLife. JDIGs are awarded only to new and expanding businesses whose benefits exceed the costs to the state and would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant.
Under the terms of the company's JDIG award, MetLife is eligible to receive up to twelve annual grants equal to 75 percent of the state personal income tax withholdings from the eligible new jobs created since the date of the initial award. Receipt of each annual grant is based on state-certified proof that the company has fulfilled incremental job creation and capital investment requirements.

Over twelve years, the JDIG award could yield aggregate benefits to MetLife of up to $87.2 million.
As much as $29.09 million in additional funds from the company's JDIG award could be added to the state's Utility Fund for infrastructure improvements in economically distressed counties.

"We are honored that MetLife has chosen Ballantyne Corporate Park as an integral part of its operations," said Smoky Bissell, chairman of the Bissell organization.

"Over the years we have remained confident in Charlotte's ability to attract companies of the stature of MetLife, and we are truly excited that MetLife shares our confidence in Ballantyne and Charlotte."

The 10-story Gragg and Woodward Buildings will accommodate the more than 1,300 positions being established in Charlotte, as well as the employees consolidating from its current space in Charlotte.

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