KeyBank makes room for Franciscan on State Street

Where once there were many telephones and scads of cash, there now will be well, still cash, but also a new operation headed by Franciscan Health System.

The KeyBank call center at 2420 S. State St. in Tacoma is being transformed into an education and support center operated by the Franciscan group.

The Tacoma-based health system has signed a 12-year lease for 75,000 square feet of the 100,000-square-foot facility.

KeyBank, which recently closed its State Street call center operation and reduced its check-processing capacity, will retain a presence with certain high-security vault operations.

“It will serve as a regional hub,” said Franciscan spokesman Gale Robinette on Tuesday. “We’re anticipating as many as 350 employees could be there within two years.”

Already some 90 employees have been moved to the building, he said. Many will have come from operations centers downtown, particularly at the Franciscan Service Center on Market Street.

The health system will spend about $5 million on renovations.

Meanwhile, KeyBank has relocated some 70 employees to its district headquarters in the Plaza Building – the former Peoples Store – in downtown Tacoma.

The bank has also donated 375 of its State Street work stations, including furniture and equipment, to the Franciscans.

“That’s a huge contribution on their part,” Robinette said.

Jon Flora, president of the Franciscan Foundation, said in a release, “We appreciate KeyBank’s support of our organization, and its spirit of partnership that is benefiting the Tacoma community.”

When renovations are complete, the building will house an employee-training classroom as well as areas dedicated to various business functions including financial, technology and some patient-related services.

The building will also serve some 20 employees of Catholic Health Initiatives, a national organization with a regional office in Nampa, Idaho.

Robinette said one of the ancillary benefits of the new center will see the opening of “much needed parking space for patients and visitors at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma.”

Franciscan Chief Operating Officer Cliff Robertson said that “locating many of our support functions in a central Tacoma location makes sense from an operational and customer service perspective.”

Andrew Latimer, who negotiated the lease on behalf of KeyBank, said the bank has “gained a high-quality tenant to fill underutilized space, and the Franciscans got an affordable quality building, mostly furnished and uniquely suited to its needs.”