By KATHY DAY
EVERETT — Premera Blue Cross will move about 60 employees from Mountlake Terrace to the Quadrant I-5 Corporate Park in January, joining several other tenants who are venturing north in search of office space.
Premera’s NorthStar Administrators subsidiary has signed a five-year lease for 19,568 square feet of space — half the floor of the second building to be built in the 14-acre business park, according to Debi Frausto, Quadrant spokeswoman. NorthStar provides administrative services for self-funded employee benefit plans.
The move from the Mountlake Terrace headquarters to the complex on 134th Street SW west of I-5 keeps the division nearby and provides easy access to I-5 and I-405, which Clara Kinner of Premera called "a plus for our employees."
Leasing agent Christopher Moe of Kidder Mathews & Segner’s Seattle office said the south Everett area has become a draw for tenants from both Seattle and the Eastside.
For tenants looking for 20,000 to 30,000 square feet of space, he said, the Quadrant complex "is in serious contention" because it is a good value and offers the flexibility of unfinished large floor space that can be designed to suit a tenant’s needs.
Frausto said that with a tight market for large office space, the area is getting a lot of looks that it didn’t in the past. She pointed to Maple Systems, a high-tech company that moved from Bothell to the complex in January.
Buildings in the park offer showers for employee use, on-site management and fiber-optic connections — a big draw for companies that depend on networking and communications, Frausto said.
Besides Maple Systems, the second Quadrant I-5 building is home to State Farm, which combined its Lynnwood and Everett facilities, Moe said.
Four buildings are planned for the property. The first, completed in summer 1998, is home to the American Cancer Society and Reid Middleton.
Frausto said Quadrant would consider abandoning current plans, or redesigning the third building for a tenant requiring added parking, if the terms were right. At this point, permits are in hand for the third building and construction could start soon after a lease is signed for the 47,000 square feet.
A fourth building of the same size is planned, but a permit has not been issued, she said.
Bellevue-based Quadrant is a Weyerhaueser company that has built more than 1 million square feet of office and industrial space this year.
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