BB&T-SunTrust Pick Charlotte’s Hearst Tower as Corporate Headquarters Location

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The 965,000-square-foot Hearst Tower in Charlotte, which is owned by Cousins Properties, will be the new corporate headquarters for BB&T Corp. and SunTrust Banks Inc. once the merger between the two banks is complete.

BB&T-SunTrust confirmed in a press release that the combined bank is expected to begin occupying 651,000 square feet of office space in phases from August 2019 to June 2021. Up to 2,000 employees of the proposed new company will be housed in the space. The lease term is for 15 years.

The space is currently occupied by Bank of America and other tenants, all of which will move out to make room for BB&T-SunTrust. Bank of America has signed a 550,000-square-foot lease within Lincoln Harris’ Legacy Union in Uptown Charlotte.

Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T agreed to acquire Atlanta-based SunTrust in a $66 billion deal announced in early February. Details have not yet been released on future plans for the banks’ existing corporate offices.

BB&T-SunTrust will have the option to purchase the 47-story building from Cousins Properties for $455.5 million through the fourth quarter of this year. If the company exercises that option, the sale will close in the first quarter of 2020.

On Wednesday, BB&T and SunTrust announced that the combined merger of equals will go by the name Truist Financial Corp. The two companies partnered with Interbrand, a global brand consultancy, to pick the new name. A logo, typography and a visual identity will be revealed at a later date.

Truist is expected to serve more than 10 million households, mostly in the Southeast. Truist would be the sixth largest bank in the country by assets ($441 billion) and deposits ($324 billion).

“Cousins is thrilled to partner with BB&T and SunTrust on their new corporate headquarters in Charlotte,” says Colin Connolly, president and CEO of Cousins Properties. “Our local team provided a creative solution for the soon-to-be sixth largest U.S. commercial bank while creating long-term value for our shareholders. BB&T and SunTrust’s decision further validates Cousins’ strategy to own trophy office towers in the best urban submarkets throughout the Sun Belt.”

According to BB&T representatives, currently there are no plans in place to change the name of SunTrust Park, home of the Atlanta Braves. “SunTrust Park has a special place in our hearts, the new company will never change that,” BB&T said on Twitter.

The merger is expected to be finalized in the second half of this year. Until it is finalized, the two companies will continue to operate separately and independently.

— Alex Tostado

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