Metis Holdings buys the former Allstate building

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Metis Holdings plans to occupy the former Allstate building.
Photo by Don Petersen

About 900 workers for Allstate, the country’s second-largest property and casualty insurer, used to fill a 165,000-square-foot office building in Roanoke County.

Then Allstate reduced its Roanoke Valley workforce with several rounds of layoffs. In 2015, the company’s remaining Roanoke Valley workers — it’s not entirely clear how many there were by then — moved out of that building. Some of them set up in a new, smaller building in Roanoke County.  Some went to work in a former Norfolk Southern office in Roanoke. Since then, the big office building has been empty.

But not for much longer.

Metis Holdings, a Roanoke-based insurance and insurance-service provider that has grown from 25 to more than 125 employees in the past 10 years, bought the 47-year-old building for $4 million in April. Since 2015, Metis has been based in the 26,666-square-foot building in Roanoke.  The company plans to occupy up to 75,000 square feet of the former Allstate building.

“We are fortunate to have the support of the Roanoke Valley region and are very pleased to expand and remain in the Roanoke area,” Metis President Chris Carey said in a statement.

Carey also says it may be a year before Metis announces the tenants who will occupy roughly 90,000 square feet of the building that Metis won’t be using. According to a Cushman & Wakefield|Thalhimer listing for the old Allstate building, it “includes a full-service cafeteria, gym, large open office space, training rooms and classrooms, and much more.”

Jill Loope, Roanoke County’s economic development director, calls Metis’ plan “an ideal scenario” and its purchase the “successful completion of a lengthy and complex real estate transaction.”

She sees Metis’ plans as a chance to create jobs and increase the county’s tax base. “Creating an environment for businesses to grow and prosper is a priority of Roanoke County’s economic development program, and we are especially pleased that a well-known company has purchased the building,” Loope says.

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