published Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain shifting to Chattanooga's Liberty Tower

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One of the Southeast’s largest accounting firms is shifting its downtown Chattanooga offices from its longtime Krystal Building site to the city’s second tallest structure.

Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain is relocating to the 17-story Liberty Tower, which is undergoing a $20 million revamp from a company tied to Chattanooga parking magnate Jim Berry.

“Liberty Tower will be a state-of-the-art facility providing our clients and our employees with a beautiful working environment,” said Dennis Blanton, the accounting firm’s managing partner in the city.

LBMC will occupy 11,300 square feet, or the entire 11th floor, in the downtown tower that’s about three blocks from the firm’s current site. It plans to move to the Chestnut and Sixth streets building in December.

LBMC will join the Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel law firm as a key tenant in the 192,000-square-foot building. The law firm is shifting from Tallan Financial Center downtown as it leases four continuous floors of office space, or 43,000 square feet, in Liberty Tower.

Blanton said in a statement that a lot of thought went into its decision to move.

“LBMC continues to grow in Chattanooga, and this new office space allows us the flexibility to add more space as we have need to expand,” he said

Blanton said LBMC is “thrilled about updating our office in Chattanooga to parallel LBMC’s additional offices across Tennessee.”

Benjamin Pitts of real estate firm Herman Walldorf Commercial, who represented LBMC, said the accounting firm is a charter tenant of the Krystal Building, where it has 13,800 square feet.

Pitts said there’s common conference room space in Liberty Tower and LBMC is able to come up with some efficiencies in its move to the new location.

He said Liberty Tower is “shaping up to be an important part of the Chattanooga skyline.”

Berry’s JBC Inc. bought the structure in 2010 for $4 million from Tower Two Associates, a real estate partnership organized by developer Franklin L. Haney, who built the office tower in 1979 to house employees of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

LBMC is a top 100 U.S. accounting firm and 6th largest in the Southeast. It has more than 400 employees with offices in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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