Fortune 500 health insurer Centene has finalized a deal to open a major corporate campus in North Natomas and the facility’s developer closed escrow on the site purchase Thursday.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg said Centene will be the tenant in a sprawling headquarters building at East Commerce Way and Arena Boulevard. Steinberg, Councilwoman Angelique Ashby, city officials and the Greater Sacramento Economic Council negotiated a deal to lure what will likely become the city’s largest private employer.
Centene already employs about 3,000 people in the Sacramento region and is planning to employ up to 5,000 at its North Natomas campus, city officials said. Construction on the facility could begin as early as next month.
“We are on the verge of the single-largest job creation opportunity we have had in recent history,” Steinberg said.
Sacramento city leaders signed a multimillion-dollar incentive package with Centene nearly a year ago, agreeing to give the company $9,000 for every headquarters job created that is new to the Sacramento area. To qualify for the incentive, the median salary for those positions must be at least $61,515 and the average salary must be above $64,078 a year.
Most positions at the new headquarters would be in health care, accounting and information technology.
“It will be wonderful to watch the buildings rise up, but it will be even better to watch 5,000-plus high-wage jobs move into North Natomas and serve the entire Sacramento region,” said Ashby, who represents North Natomas at City Hall.
Natomas Development Partners LLC purchased the 68.2-acre site at East Commerce Way and Arena Boulevard this week, according to developer David Bugatto, who owned the property. Hines Real Estate, the firm seeking to develop the corporate center, is listed as the manager of Natomas Development Partners.
Hines has submitted plans with the city of Sacramento to build five four-story buildings totaling 1.25 million square feet on the site, along with a 17,160-square-foot day care center.
“It’s been a very long process but very satisfying,” Bugatto said. “We’ve been waiting for the right opportunity for our city.”