MetLife, global insurance and asset management company, plans to hire more than 500 people to work at its third office tower overlooking Lake Crabtree in Cary.
The number of hires was announced Friday at a groundbreaking ceremony that included politicians and company officials. MetLife announced in May that it would add a third office tower and hire in Cary but would not say at the time how many it would hire.
The new, seven-story office building will be home to MetLife’s global innovation center, and will be a place where digital startups can help the firm’s focus on how technology can improve the insurance industry.
“To win in the marketplace, we must design products that customers need, make them simple to buy and use, and deliver a superior digital experience,” Steve Kandarian, chairman, president and CEO, said at the ceremony. “MetLife is pleased to be deepening our relationship with North Carolina given the favorable business environment, abundance of talent, and the competitive costs of doing business here.”
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In 2013, MetLife was awarded state incentives worth more than $87.2 million in exchange for creating more than 2,600 high-paying jobs, evenly split between Cary and Charlotte.
The company has been qualifying for annual incentive payouts, according to the state Department of Commerce. Additional state or local incentives bring the total package to about $100 million, according to the the UNC School of Government.
The Cary site, called the Global Technology Campus, opened in 2015 and has hired about 1,500 workers in technical fields. When the third and final office tower is complete, the campus will cover 213,500 square feet of flexible and open work spaces.
The 26.5-acre campus has Wi-Fi throughout, a fitness center, coffee bars, sitting or standing desks, and various configurations of offices and meeting places.
Politicians attending the groundbreaking included Gov. Roy Cooper, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, Rep. David Price and Rep. George Holding.
“We’re happy to call MetLife one of our strongest corporate partners in North Carolina, with major operations in Wake and Mecklenburg counties and plans to have a positive impact on our state’s economy for years to come,” Cooper said. “North Carolina is the right place for MetLife to keep growing including by expanding their Research Triangle campus.”
The new building, which is being developed by Highwoods Properties, is scheduled to open in early 2019.