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News : 24-7 InTouch is Hiring
Largo, June 12, 2014 -- One of Largo's biggest white elephants has finally found a new use.
The nearly 200,000-square-foot Centerpointe building on U.S. 19 had been vacant for five years. The cavernous structure with a two-story atrium and a vast parking lot, just north of Tri-City Plaza, had been sitting empty ever since the last tenant moved out in 2009.
Year after year, this place near East Bay Drive routinely made the lists of the most prominent vacant buildings in the Tampa Bay area.
"Quite a few companies have looked at the building, but the economy has been down," said Tom Kennedy, a broker with Westport Commercial Real Estate.
Now it's being filled by a major new tenant — a national call center operation called 24-7 InTouch, which handles customer calls for a number of entertainment, retail and hospitality corporations. The company is recruiting to fill 300 customer service jobs by the end of summer.
"It's hard to find facilities that have the kind of parking that's required to do what we do. There were only a couple dozen locations in the whole Tampa Bay area that we would have considered," said Chris Wallace, the company's vice president of sales. "We chose this one because of how central it is in the bay area."
Largo Mayor Pat Gerard said the city is marketing its central location and ready access to commuting employees across Tampa Bay.
Instead of referring to the place as a call center, 24-7 InTouch actually calls it a "contact center" because employees also communicate with customers via email, social media and live chats on the Internet.
Headquartered in Canada, 24-7 InTouch has nine locations in the United States, Canada, Guatemala and India.
Why locate in Tampa Bay? Because it was suggested by Wallace, a Tampa native who put himself through the University of South Florida by working at Busch Gardens.
"Tourism is such an important part of the economy there. So many of us in the Tampa Bay area grew up in the hospitality industry," he said. "I knew that would translate into customer service."
Over the past month, 24-7 InTouch has begun major interior renovations. "We're finishing spaces as we're hiring people so they've got a place to work," Wallace said.
The company has hired 100 workers and plans to hire 200 more. Job seekers should go online for information.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About 24-7 Intouch:
24-7 Intouch is an award-winning Global Contact Center Outsourcer that delivers innovative and value-driven customer service solutions across all industries via an omnichannel approach that includes voice, social media management, live chat, email, fraud, UAT, self service, and back office administration. Using the most advanced technology in the industry, 24-7 Intouch’s customizable customer care method allows their clients to utilize business insights to deliver lifetime consumer loyalty and increase incremental revenue. With over 16 years of experience, the 24-7 Intouch team takes pride in creating a top to bottom brand alignment for clients to create the ideal customer experience.
Published: Friday, June 13, 2014