AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Amarillo’s tallest building continues to see more businesses moving in after high-profile tenants left a number of vacancies.
The now-FirstBank Southwest Tower saw occupancy drop below 50 percent when Xcel, WTAMU and Chase Bank announced they were leaving.
Now, businesses are quickly filling those vacancies, with many moving their businesses to downtown Amarillo for the first time.
With more than a dozen floors up for grabs in the 31-floor building, the FirstBank Southwest Tower has been able to fill more than 100,000 square feet, bringing local businesses to a re-energized downtown.
"Something that jumped out at me was 63-percent of those tenants, so 63,000 square feet, were tenants that were new to downtown so I think that’s very telling of what’s happening downtown right now,” said Aaron Emerson, who does leasing for the tower.
Some of those new, large-space tenants include Cactus Feeders, CPA firm Lemert, Holder, and Ohm, Altura Engineering and Design and Downtown Tower Executive Office Suites.
"It's not common, but three years ago, four years ago, we didn't have a lot of 10,000 square foot options so everyone was having to stay where they were. I think a lot of the big activity we're seeing right now is because of the big spaces are available."
Taking the first-floor bank space and namesake of the building, FirstBank Southwest says the decision to move downtown and to the tower was a no-brainer.
"It was such a logical fit. And we wanted a downtown location and we couldn't find the perfect place,” said Andy Marshall, President and CEO of FirstBank Southwest. “This was and is the perfect place and also with the signage for the top of the building and the branding for the bank, it was a logical decision. I think I took two seconds to agree."
Marshall says the diverse mix of tenants and downtown growth also led to their decision to move to the tower.
"There are a thousand people working in that one building alone and the mix of people that are in there, some of the new tenants that are coming in, it's very exciting just to be where we're at,” said Marshall. "If there's a better time to be downtown, I can't imagine when that would be."
As for the namesake of the tower, FirstBank Southwest, you can expect the bright, new sign sometime in January, with the branch likely opening a few months later.