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Rent vs. Ownership: Breaking down Wells Fargo's decision to relocate Uptown staff



CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Wells Fargo is moving employees out of two of its towers in Uptown as part of a plan to consolidate and update the company’s workspaces in Charlotte.

Wells Fargo to move employees out of 2 Uptown Charlotte towers

Wells Fargo executives said the company will vacate One Wells Fargo Center and Two Wells Fargo Center and those employees to other properties in Uptown by the end of 2023.

Mary Mack, CEO of Consumer and Small Business Banking, said the changes are part of a multi-year plan to create a “better work experience” for employees and represent a significant investment in the Queen City.

Wells Fargo said major improvements will be made at Three Wells Fargo Center and the former Duke Energy Building.

Michael Smith, CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners said the move makes sense considering Wells Fargo owns the former Duke Energy building.

“They are moving into owned buildings, and they are making massive investments in those buildings to make it more commute-worthy and kind of respond to what has happened with the pandemic and the demands of today’s workforce.  So, they are doing the kinds of things to bring more of their employees back,” Smith said.

The plans include remodeling 21 floors and adding more space to collaborate at 550 South Tryon Street. It also includes upgraded food options for employees.

Three Wells Fargo Center will see 14 floors get remodeled to create “a more modern work environment.”

As for One Wells Fargo Center and Two Wells Fargo Center, Smith said Charlotte Center City Partners will work with the city, building owners, and the incoming brokerage firm to fill the vacancies with another company or companies.

“I mean that building sits on a transit stop.  It is adjacent to the convention center.  It’s on the rail trail.  It is going to continue to be a very important building in a very important place and we will welcome the inventory as we compete for jobs in other cities,” Smith said.

He said right now, Uptown and Charlotte have about a 13% office space vacancy rate.

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