USAgencies moving local HQ to downtown BR _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- The former Capitol One building, located at 440 N. Third Street downtown, is being renovated to house apartments, a grocery store and the new local headquarters for USAgencies.

USAgencies will move its local headquarters to downtown Baton Rouge, bringing about 100 employees to the former Capital One building and taking up the top two floors.

The discount auto insurance firm is the first office tenant to commit to space in 440 on Third, the mixed-use building currently being renovated at the corner of Main and Third streets.

USAgencies plans to move employees from Bon Carré Business Center on Florida Boulevard into the downtown building in January, said Robert Bondi, president of Confie Insurance Group Holdings. California-based Confie acquired USAgencies in October.

“We’ve been working on a search for the past several months,” Bondi said. “We’re really excited to move downtown.”

USAgencies will take up about 17,500 square feet on the eighth floor of the building and on the ninth floor, which is an addition, said Jonathan Walker, an agent with Maestri-Murrell Commercial Real Estate who is marketing 440 on Third to commercial tenants.

The employees who work in the building will be a mix of customer service workers and local USAgencies executives, Bondi said. The office will also double as the Operations Center for Confie Insurance Group Holdings.

While policyholders won’t be able to drop off payments or get a quote on car insurance, the company is “actively looking” to put a service office downtown.

“A lot of our customers are in downtown, so we want to make it as easy and convenient as possible for them to do business with us,” he said.

While most of the employees are coming from Bon Carré, a handful of USAgencies employees from other locations will be moving in, Bondi said.

“This will be a foundational location for us,” he said of the downtown office. “There will be people and functions moving in for months and years in the foreseeable future.” The company has space in the building to accommodate future growth, Bondi said.

USAgencies has six agencies in the Baton Rouge area, six in the New Orleans area and six in Lafayette and the surrounding area, according to the company website. The company has been in Bon Carré since 2009.

USAgencies will be the marquee tenant in 440 on Third and have its name on the building. A Matherne’s Supermarket, set to open in September or October, will take up the first floor. Office space is available on the second floor and there will be 65 apartments on the third through seventh floors. The apartments will be open for tenants to move in beginning Jan. 1.

David Weinstein, one of the owners and developers of 440 on Third, said he’s very excited to have USAgencies as a tenant.

“We’re bringing new companies into the downtown,” he said. “That shows our upside opportunity.”

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter @TCB_TheAdvocate