State Farm's Operations Center in east Tulsa is among 23 facilities in 18 states that the insurance company said it will put on the market to sell and lease back from a single buyer.

State Farm spokesman Jim Camoriano said the insurer is putting the 288,000-square-foot building at 12222 State Farm Blvd. on the market and will lease it back from the future owner for 15 years, with two five-year options to renew, potentially keeping the company at the site for the next 25 years.

"We continue to use a flexible real estate strategy which allows us to meet our customers' changing needs and expectations," he said.

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Camoriano said Bloomington, Ill.-based State Farm continues to own many of its buildings throughout the country but that most of its properties are leased.

"This gets us more in line with our overall strategy of leasing rather than owning property," he said. "There are costs associated with both realities, but we believe leasing gives us that greater flexibility."

Camoriano said the sale of facility does not indicate a change in the workforce of about 900 at the site, which has been in operation more than 20 years.

The Tulsa Operations Center, north of the Broken Arrow Expressway between Garnett Road and 129th East Avenue, handles claims and underwriting functions, and has several general departments including public affairs, human resources and administrative services, Camoriano said.

The three-story building is solely occupied by State Farm.

An exclusive agent, unnamed for the sale, will handle the transaction, Camoriano said. "I'm not sure how far along they are in the process," he said.

According to the Tulsa County Assessor's Office, the structure built in 1989 is situated on 40.82 acres in a commercial district and is valued at $18 million. Its estimated 2013 property taxes are $266,983, which is the same as last year.

Angela West, a broker with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma, said the sale lease-back option is seen across the country as growing companies look to real estate holdings as a potential source of capital.

"The sale lease-back allows companies to monetize their assets and pull capital from real estate and infuse it into their operation. It also allows them to maintain their continuity of operations," she said.

Susan Hylton 918-581-8381

SUBHEAD: The three-story building in east Tulsa, situated on a 40-acre lot, is valued at $18 million.

Original Print Headline: State Farm to sell, lease back operations center

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