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St. Pete acquires new corporate HQ

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Pete has successfully wrangled a new corporation to base itself in downtown. TwinLab Consolidation Corp. has entered into a lease with First Central Tower that begins May 1.

According to its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, TwinLab has signed a 12-year, nearly $4.5 million lease to occupy more than 30,000 square feet spanning two floors in the Central Ave. business tower located in the 300 block.

Twinlab will create 80 jobs in the area; however the company is expected to bring most of those employees with them from its current headquarters in New York.

The company will move in rent-free for the first year. Beginning next May, they will pay $344,000 a year plus building operations costs.

The lease agreement calls for the company to move in first to the fifth floor, with an agreement to expand operations to the sixth floor by the end of October 2016.

In addition to offering a year of free rent, the owners of First Central Tower are footing the bill for $764,000 in construction costs for the move as well as another $150,000 for relocation expenses.

The company sells nutrition supplements and vitamins. They’re most well-known for the line of Metabolife diet and energy products. They also sell Alvita herbal teas, Fuel sports supplements and Trigosamine joint support.

The company launched in 1968 when its founder, David Blechman, used his pharmaceutical experience to develop liquid protein supplements. TwinLab began in his family’s garage and was named after Blechman’s two sets of twins.

The company has a research and development facility in Grand Rapids, MI and a plant in American Fork, UT.

Twinlab’s new home will cater to an employee-friendly environment. Plans to renovate the building include an employee lounge area with flat-screen TVs, iPad chairs, soft seating and free Wi-Fi.

Plans are also in place for a new concierge desk, updated elevator lounge areas and a fitness center.

According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Twinlab made the decision to move to St. Pete based on the city’s live-work-play environment. Planned upgrades to the office building were also key components in wooing the company.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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