TEXAS DE BRAZIL STEAKHOUSE TAKES METWEST INTERNATIONAL SPACE

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Tampa Bay Business Journal

Texas de Brazil has signed a lease at MetWest International for its first restaurant on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The Brazilian steakhouse will take 7,500 square feet at the front entrance of the project directly across from Kona Grill. It plans to open in the first quarter of 2011, a release said. Terms of the lease were not disclosed. The restaurant features a “Brazilian dining experience complete with sword-wielding Gauchos, or Brazilian cowboys, serving grilled meats cooked in the traditional Brazilian Churrascaria style carved tableside.” Texas de Brazil is the second restaurant to choose MetWest International as the site for its first Tampa location. Kona Grill opened in late 2009. The Brazilian steakhouse concept has seen success at other Florida locations in Miami and Orlando, the release said. “The timing and mixed use of space that MetWest International offers is just the right fit for us to expand into Tampa,” said Salim Asrawi, chief operating officer of Texas de Brazil, in the release.

MetWest International is being redeveloped by MetLife. Located across from Tampa International Airport and International Plaza, MetWest International includes the existing One MetroCenter and MetWest One, the first of three office buildings. The two later-phase office buildings will be started as demand dictates. Taylor and Mathis of Florida Inc. serves as the development manager for the project and handles management and office leasing responsibilities. Florida Retail Partners handles retail leasing. Florida Retail Partners President Kalyn Brandewie negotiated the transaction on behalf of the property owner, MetLife. MetLife is a subsidiary of MetLife Inc. (NYSE: MET), a provider of insurance, employee benefits and financial services. Its Real Estate Investments department oversees a diversified real estate investment portfolio worth nearly $45 billion. It is one of the largest in the nation and is comprised mainly of real estate equities, commercial mortgages and agricultural mortgages. The concept will locate within a mile of a competing Brazilian steakhouse, Boizao, which is also located in Tampa’s Westshore, district across from International Plaza.

Date:
Friday, July 16, 2010