Wachovia to Move Across Main Street in Columbia


Wachovia will move to new home in Columbia

April 01, 2008


Wachovia will relocate its Midlands headquarters across Main Street to an office building set to undergo a renovation that could include a 29-foot glass sculpture on the roof, the company said today.

South Carolina’s dominant bank must move its 105 employees out of the Palmetto Center as the building’s main tenant and Wachovia’s landlord, SCANA Corp., heads to a new campus in Cayce.

Wachovia’s decision to stay on Main Street gives a boost to downtown as the corridor braces for the departure of the Fortune 500 energy company and its 1,100 workers, city leaders say.

“We continue to show our commitment to Main Street and the city of Columbia and the city center,” Wachovia’s Midlands market president Greg Lapointe said.

The bank’s new home at 1441 Main will be renamed the Wachovia Center. The name will go atop the 14-story tower that already houses a Wachovia branch.

But it’s unlikely the name will be the first thing skyline watchers notice when work is scheduled to be completed in fall 2009.

Architects have proposed a near-three-story-tall sculpture that would feature three overlapping boxes with slightly angled tops that mimics the bank’s logo.

The sculpture, designed by Stevens & Wilkinson of South Carolina, will be backlit at night.

The design could change before construction begins this fall, said Ryan Hyler, director of research and marketing for building manager Colliers Keenan.

The $5 million renovation also will add ground-floor video displays showing area events and possibly TV broadcasts, and a two-floor atrium leading to a revamped Wachovia branch.

The branch will have high ceilings and glass for a “more sleek and modern feel,” Lapointe said.

Wachovia’s new home was the old area headquarters for First Union before its merger with Wachovia. First Union’s operations moved in 2003 to the Palmetto Center, next to Marriott at Main and Hampton streets.

No announcements have been made about what will happen next at the Palmetto Center.

When Wachovia moves, the bank will occupy four floors with 105 workers from the Palmetto Center and an undisclosed number of others from offices around Columbia.

The bank comes to a 22-year-old office building that lost a big tenant last year. The city’s second-largest law firm Nexsen Pruet occupied three floors before moving to the new First Citizens building on Main and Lady streets.

Current tenants at 1441 Main include IBM, the U.S. Attorney’s office and the Scott McElveen accounting firm.

The building is owned by FSP 1441 Main Street LLC, which is associated with real estate investment firm Franklin Street Properties of Wakefield, Mass.

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