California Casualty plans new facility

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<H3><I>California-based insurer considers Briargate Campus location</I></SUBHEAD><B>By LAUREY LUMMUS</B> <FONT SIZE=-1><I>Staff Reporter</I></FONT>

California Casualty has tentatively agreed to a 117,000-square-foot build-to-suit proposal on Telstar Drive in the Briargate Business Campus. The property, which is 7 acres and valued at $1.5 million, belongs to locally-based La Plata Investment Company.

The company, which was founded in 1914 and lists more than $755 million in assets, established a regional service center in Colorado Springs earlier this year.

Unable to find the ideal setting in which to house the nearly 300 employees who work in Colorado Springs, the company leased 39,164 square feet at 4655 Northpark Drive. The facility is presently serving as the interim Colorado Service Center.

The attainment of the California-based insurance giant proved to be a big boost to Colorado Springs, with EDC lobbying hard in a high-stakes competition to be selected as the new site for the group.

The company, which is still family-owned and independently operated, was a pioneer in group-sponsored property/casualty products.

The Briargate Business Campus is quickly becoming an insurance mecca for the city. In addition to USAA, a San Antonio-based insurance group that employs 815 locally, which is located at 1855 Telstar Drive, the community also houses the Principal Financial Group, which employs 104 locally and is located at 1755 Telstar Drive.

California Casualty’s payroll in Colorado Springs is expected to top $14 million annually after all hiring is complete. The company plans to add an additional 100 employees within the next three years.