Wells Fargo relocates workers from its Charlotte HQ in 2023

Wells Fargo is making major changes to its Charlotte office space — including moving out of the Uptown Building that served as the bank’s East Coast hub and predecessor for nearly four decades.

The bank will relocate employees from two Center buildings one and two Wells Fargo, according to a memo sent to Charlotte-area employees Tuesday morning. Wells Fargo declined to say exactly how many workers would be affected by the move, but thousands will likely change offices.

Offices will be consolidated, with workers moving to Three Wells Fargo Center and 550 S. Tryon Street, the Former Duke Energy Building. Both towers will get new names as part of the changes.

Spokesman Josh Dunn confirmed that the bank will sell the Two Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday, and the new owner will control the naming rights.

The space Wells Fargo occupied at One Wells Fargo was really just a fraction of its square foot in the uptown part, less than 10%, he said. This building will probably get a new name too when a new tenant moves in.

The S. Tryon Street Tower will effectively become the bank’s new Charlotte headquarters. By the end of this year, the memo said, Wells Fargo will occupy 95% of the office space at 550 S. Tryon. The bank already owns the building.

Wells Fargo is also making significant improvements to its facilities, renovating 21 floors at 550 S. Tryon and 14 floors at Three Wells Fargo Center at 401 S.

“It’s a lot easier for our teams to work together when they’re together,” said Mary Mack, the bank’s chief executive officer of retail and small business banking. In an interview on Tuesday with the Charlotte Observer. “We want to create the environment where people want to be here.”

Wells Fargo It is based in San Francisco but has the largest employment center in Charlotte, with about 27,000 workers here.

One Wells Fargo Center as seen on Friday, June 24, 2022 in Uptown Charlotte, NC Arthur H. Atrichet Will @charlotteobserver

Uptown vacancy rates

Wells Fargo’s moves affect more than just the bank’s workers.

Desk. headquarters. center vacancy rates in uptown it was just under 13% through late last year, according to data from CoStar Group, a real estate research firm. That’s more than double what it was in 2020, when rates were 6% in Uptown.

Vacancy rates in the Charlotte market overall were about 11% in late 2022; They were 6.9% in the first quarter of 2020.

Mary mack_02.JPG
Mary Mack, the bank’s chief executive officer for retail and small business banking. Deidara Laird dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Other Wells Fargo office changes

In addition to employee turnovers in its upper buildings, Wells Fargo is also making major upgrades to its customer information center in North Charlotte, near University City.

About 10,000 employees operate from the center, a 157-acre campus off WT Harris Boulevard. Mac said it is the bank’s largest job site across the country.

The bank is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the campus over the next several years, adding more office space, a new parking lot, and a renovated food court.

About One Wells Fargo Center

dubbed Music Building For its curvilinear design, One Wells Fargo Center opened in 1988.

It stood 42 stories high—or about 590 feet—and was the tallest building in Charlotte at the time. Up to 3,000 bank employees used to work out of the building, which Childress Klein had developed for Wells Fargo’s predecessor, First Union.

The building is under relatively new ownership.

It was last sold in March 2016 to the LLC of Nevada businessman Dennis Trosch for $284 million. Tampa-based Vision Properties is the managing and operating entity in ownership of the building.

Tuesday’s announcement comes at a time when the Music Building is undergoing a number of changes.

This includes remodeling the top two floors of the bank’s executive conference rooms into a tenant-friendly space. According to Cushman & Wakefield, there will be seating, billiards, conference rooms and decks for people to enjoy the sweeping views of uptown Charlotte. The commercial real estate company leases the premises.

The ground floor lobby of the building has also been recently renovated with new furniture. A new café, Night Swim, has opened inside. Childress Klein YMCA is located within the premises. In addition, crews have been busy upgrading the outdoor arena.

Vision Real Estate has invested $10 million in renovations in 2021.

As of late last year, One Wells Fargo was 62% leased, according to a fact sheet submitted to The Charlotte Observer by Cushman & Wakefield. Asking rents are listed between $38.50 and $42 per square foot.

Also late last year, rent for office space in the Charlotte metro area averaged $32.58 per square foot, according to CoStar. It was $35.76 per square foot in Uptown and $43.18 in the South End.

Wells Fargo has already taken steps to reduce its Uptown footprint. In 2020, Wells Fargo is set to vacate more than 500,000 square feet of space on the premises over the next year and a half, Charlotte Business Journal mentioned in time.

Most Wells Fargo employees left the One Wells Fargo Center two to three years ago, Dan told The Observer on Tuesday.

About Two Wells Fargo Center

Originally called the Jefferson First Union Tower and later the First Union Plaza, the 32-story building was completed in 1971.

It is one of the four office towers that comprise the Uptown Wells Fargo complex. The building area is approximately 760,000 square feet.

This story was originally published January 31, 2023 11:00 AM.

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Hannah Lang covers banking, financial and economics property rights for The Charlotte Observer. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Triangle Business Journal and Greensboro News & Record. She studied business journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and grew up in the same city as her school.

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