Truist Center

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Truist Center
Former namesHearst Tower (2002–2019)
General information
TypeOffice building
Location214 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Coordinates35°13′39″N 80°50′27″W / 35.227572°N 80.840803°W / 35.227572; -80.840803
Named forTruist Financial
Hearst Communications (2002–2020)
Construction started1999
Cost$160 million (2002 USD)
OwnerTruist Financial
Roof659 feet (201 m)[1]
Technical details
Floor count47
Floor area970,002 sq ft (90,116.1 m2)[2][3]
Design and construction
Architect(s)Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates, Inc.
DeveloperTrammel Crow Co. and The Keith Corporation
Other information
Public transit accessLight rail interchange 7th Street
Tram interchange Tryon Street

The Truist Center is a 47-story, 659 feet (201 m) skyscraper in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina.[1] The city's third tallest building, it is located along North Tryon Street. It was opened on November 14, 2002, and was the city's second tallest building,[4] and was known as the "Hearst Tower" until 2019. The structure is composed of a 32-story tower resting atop a 15-floor podium. During Bank of America's occupancy in the building located on the podium was a three-story trading facility designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and operated by Bank of America. The trading facility included a 6,000-square-foot (560 m2), two-story trading floor. Now the former trading floor is part of Truist's 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) technology innovation center.[5] The building is currently the headquarters of Truist Financial, which purchased the building in March 2020.[6]


The building's reverse floor plate[7] design makes the upper floors average 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2) compared to an average of only 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) for the lower floors.[8] The building was specifically designed to use the Art Deco 1920s style Bank of America Corporate Center had used, but create a building that has a unique look and was taller than the 60-story Corporate Center. The emphasis on rectilinear and symmetry was altered to use triangle motifs, which are displayed in the College Street and Tryon Street entrances to make them look vaguely similar to Gothic arches. On the fourth-floor exterior, the black granite and precast concrete panels intersection look similar to interlocking triangles.[7]

The plaza of the building on Tryon Street was created to be a mini-Rockefeller Center. The Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan is composed of 19 buildings. Hearst Tower Plaza is 160 feet long and 65 wide. It was intentionally lined with public art and restaurants with the goal of creating a shared public experience and bolstering Uptown as an arts destination. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Director Martin Cramton states this about the plaza's impact "It will create a tremendous element of surprise for people as they walk along Tryon Street. They will be absolutely amazed."[9]

The building's College Street lobby features brass railings designed by Edgar Brandt that were rescued from Le Bon Marche department store in Paris. On the mezzanine level, it connects to neighboring Bank of America Corporate Center via skybridge, as part of the Overstreet Mall. The Truist Plaza, a 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2) public plaza lined with restaurants, shops, and an art gallery, is located next to the main entrance off North Tryon Street.[8] In front of the plaza is a 10-foot (3.0 m) glass and bronze sculpture crafted by Howard Ben Tré entitled the Castellan, which translates to "keeper of the castle."[citation needed] Within the lobby is Collaborate 214, a coworking space introduced in October 2014.[10] The building's unique design was to complement the wedding cake design[7] of nearby Bank of America Corporate Center by being the inverse of the headquarter's design.[6]

The building's Tryon Street courtyard in November 2022


It was announced in August 1998 that the CityFair building would be torn down to make space for the building. The CityFair building opened in October 1988. It had three levels of retail and a 700-space parking structure. The public-private partnership with the city and developer Carley Capital was a bad financial decision for the city. The city spent $7 million on the project out of the original project cost of $30.4 million and the developer filed for bankruptcy shortly after the building's opening. It was the biggest retail project since the Overstreet Mall in the 1970s considered the next generation in retail at the time. The city owned the parking structure and was going to get a percentage of the project's annual profits.[11][12] In December 1988, Chemical Bank acquired the CityFair building. At that time, it had 60 stores and a food court.[13]

Hearst Tower was developed as a joint venture of Trammel Crow Co. and The Keith Corporation for Bank of America. The original cost was $160 million.[8][14] The building proposal by Trammel Crow was made in June 1998.[15] Then in December 1998 the planned building was renamed Hearst Tower after the Hearst Corporation agreed to lease 160,000 square feet (15,000 m2), their space had increased to 200,000 square feet (19,000 m2) before the building opened. The Hearst Corporation from relocated from the Carillon Tower. Other large tenants announced at the time were law firm Kennedy Covington Lobdell and Hickman leasing 157,000 square feet (14,600 m2), an unnamed tenant leasing 65,000 square feet (6,000 m2), and Bank of America occupying 380,000 square feet (35,000 m2).[16] At the time of the announcement the building was 90% leased.[17] Other tenants that signed leases ahead of construction included Law firm Mayer Brown and Platt with 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2) and Pricewaterhouse-Coopers with 80,000 square feet (7,400 m2). Also, the building is planned to have 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2) of retail space.[16] Prior to the start of construction 94% of the space was leasing, with only 35,000 square feet (3,300 m2) not preleased.[8]

The CityFair building was imploded in June 1999.[18] Then in August the original building permits for the footing and foundation of the building were issued.[19] Construction started soon after in the fall of 1999.[20] As construction neared completion in early February 2002 the 700-foot tower crane was removed.[21] The building was opened on November 14, 2002.[22]

In June 2012, Bank of America sold the building to Parkway Properties for $250 million.[23] Then in 2016 when Cousins Properties Incorporated merged with Parkway Properties they became the new owner.[24] At the time of the sale, Bank of America occupied 322,311 square feet (29,943.7 m2),[25] and the building was 94% leased.[26]

On 12 June 2019, it was announced that Truist Financial, a bank holding company to be formed from the merger of BB&T and SunTrust Banks, had selected Hearst Tower for its future new corporate headquarters.[27] Truist will occupy 561,000 square feet (52,100 m2) in the tower and has the option to buy the tower from Cousins in the fourth quarter of 2019 for $455.5 million.[28] On 14 August 2019, Hearst Communications announced it would move out of its namesake tower to offices near the city's Ballantyne neighborhood in early 2020 to make way for Truist.[29][30] The space left by Bank of America, Hearst Communications, and K&L Gates moving out of the tower allowed Truist to occupy over half its square footage. U.S. Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bradley, and Dixon Hughes Goodman continue to be tenants in the building.[31]

Truist announced plans to relocate the bank's executive team, corporate communications, finance, human resources, insurance, legal, technology, and risk management to the building. The bank will move in phases in August 2020 and lasting until June 2021.[32] The bank plans to have as many as 2,000 in the building.[28] Truist has announced that the Charlotte innovation center planned to bring technology, legal, and accounting staff together with its clients,[33] will be located in the building. As of December 2020, it was under construction.

On December 11, 2019, Truist Financial announced it had officially exercised its option to purchase the building from Cousins Properties for $455.5 million and would rename the tower Truist Center. New signage will also be added.[34] The deal was completed March 31, 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, further actions will be delayed.[35]

In November 2020 four signs were raised, two (on the North Tryon and North College street sides) with the Truist name, and two with its logo. The signage caused considerable controversy, with critics saying it was too sharp a contrast with the tower's curves. The building's architect, Charles Hull, denounced the new signage as an act of vandalism.[36] Local media outlet Axios Charlotte has written a number of articles about locals' reactions to the lights and signs. In one article a resident said, "God, what a disgrace to a previously gorgeous landmark. I'd rather we just had a hole in the ground.” The lights and signs have also caused residents to create a petition to have them removed.[37][38]

Another large tenant of the building is U.S. Bank, with some 300 employees occupying 81,424 square feet (7,564.5 m2) as of 2014. Another 560 were added in 2020.[39] A large number are in compliance and technology.[40] The bank views Charlotte as an important hub that gives them access to potential talent and one of the company's fastest-growing markets.[39] The bank has been opening retail branches in Charlotte following locating of its vice chair and head of corporate and commercial banking to Charlotte.

In June 2022 Truist Financial completed construction of their 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) technology innovation center. It consists of floors 14 and 15, which were formerly trading floors. The space will serve as a research lab and collaboration hub for engineers. To encourage collaboration it utilizes an open floor plan with different layouts for specific teams.[5]

The building viewed from College Street with the two-story Innovation Center windows visible in November 2022

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Hearst Tower". Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  2. ^ Sharipo, Amy (22 October 2022). "Charlotte's largest office buildings". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  3. ^ Kalinoski, Gail (2019-06-13). "BB&T, SunTrust Take Big Lease at Charlotte Trophy Tower". Commercial Property Executive. Retrieved 2022-04-29.
  4. ^ "Hearst Tower built to charm pedestrians", The Charlotte Observer, August 25, 2000.
  5. ^ a b Hudson, Caroline (23 August 2022). "Truist unveils new Innovation and Technology Center at uptown HQ: 'It's a place people want to come and work'". Charlotte Inno.
  6. ^ a b Wright, Gordon (1 September 2003). "Topsy-Turvy Tower Skewed corners give Hearst Tower a distinctive image without upstaging a taller corporate neighbor in downtown Charlotte's banking mecca". Building Design + Construction. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  7. ^ a b c "Muscular Hearst Tower flare skyward", The Charlotte Observer, December 9, 2001.
  8. ^ a b c d Martin, Scott (6 November 2000). "Hearst Tower's quirkiness makes atypical skyscraper". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  9. ^ "A very special front door", The Charlotte Observer, May 30, 2001.
  10. ^ Moore, Kylie (2016-04-05). ""There's a tiny gem of a co-working space in Hearst Tower (and it's free)"". Axios Charlotte. Retrieved 2022-04-29.
  11. ^ "Cityfair 'Concept' To Be Put To Test", The Charlotte Observer, October 3, 1988.
  12. ^ "Tower site plans allows the old theater to be reused", The Charlotte Observer, August 28, 1998.
  13. ^ M.S. Van Hecke, "Chemical Bank Acquires Uptown Shopping Center", The Charlotte Observer, December 20, 1988.
  14. ^ "The Shape of Things to Come", The Charlotte Observer, October 19, 1998.
  15. ^ "Trammel Crow spearheads proposal to build a tower on CityFair block", The Charlotte Observer, July 10, 1998.
  16. ^ a b "Up up up goes the Hearst Tower", The Charlotte Observer, January 20, 2002.
  17. ^ Jon Talton, "Hearst name to go on N. Tryon tower", The Charlotte Observer, December 17, 1998.
  18. ^ J"Insider", The Charlotte Observer, June 7, 1999.
  19. ^ "Building Permits", The Charlotte Observer, August 30, 1999.
  20. ^ Jeff Diamant, "Injured worked rescued from pit", The Charlotte Observer, November 24, 1999.
  21. ^ Peter Smolowitz, "Hearst Tower crane's remains to come down", The Charlotte Observer, January 20, 2002.
  22. ^ Doug Smith, "Say hello to 2nd-tallest building in town", The Charlotte Observer, November 14, 2002.
  23. ^ Boye, Will (6 June 2012). "Parkway Properties closes on Hearst Tower purchase". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  24. ^ "Cousins Closes Merger With Parkway and Prepares to Spin off Combined Company's Houston-Based Assets". Counsins Properties. 6 October 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  25. ^ Boye, Will (9 May 2012). "Bank of America makes sales pitch for Hearst, Fifth Third towers". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  26. ^ Singe, Kerry; Dunn, Andrew (4 May 2012). "Sale of Hearst Tower may signal investor interest in Charlotte". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  27. ^ "BB&T and SunTrust choose 'signature' uptown tower as headquarters for new bank". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  28. ^ a b "BB&T, SunTrust Take Big Lease at Charlotte Trophy Tower". Commercial Property Executive. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  29. ^ Chemtob, Danielle (14 August 2019). "Hearst will leave its uptown tower to make way for BB&T and SunTrust workers". Charlotte Observer.
  30. ^ Elikin, Ken (14 August 2018). "Hearst moving regional office out of namesake tower in uptown to south Charlotte". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  31. ^ Fahey, Ashley (1 December 2019). "Truist to purchase Hearst Tower for $455.5M, rename uptown building". Charlotte Business Journal.
  32. ^ Roberts, Deon (12 June 2019). "BB&T and SunTrust choose 'signature' uptown tower as headquarters for new bank". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  33. ^ Hudson, Caroline (29 December 2020). "CEO Kelly King on the next steps for Truist's rise to prominence in Charlotte". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  34. ^ Chemtob, Danielle; Weinstein, Austin (11 December 2019). "Truist buys uptown tower for record $455 million as bank builds Charlotte presence". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  35. ^ Craver, Richard (2 April 2020). "Truist completes $455.5M purchase of Charlotte HQ; bank delays new branding unveilings". Winston-Salem Journal.
  36. ^ Weinstein, Austin (7 December 2020). "Truist put its name on its new HQ. The building's architect called it vandalism". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  37. ^ Soloff, Katie Peralta (28 November 2022). "The ugliest places in Charlotte, according to readers". Axios Charlotte. Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  38. ^ Soloff, Katie Peralta (10 February 2021). "Uptown's Truist lights — a 'scarlet letter' or 'misunderstood genius'?". Axios Charlotte. Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  39. ^ a b Hudson, Caroline (29 June 2020). "Charlotte-based executive Jim Kelligrew leading changes in US Bancorp's corporate, commercial banking division". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  40. ^ Boye, Will (21 November 2014). "U.S. Bank expands at Hearst Tower, leasing 35th floor". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved 21 May 2021.

External links[edit]