Wells Fargo sells Minneapolis office building to Sherman Associates – The Business Journals

September 9, 2022
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Sherman Associates has bought the former Wells Fargo Operations Center in downtown Minneapolis for $6.4 million.
San Francisco-based Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) sold the four-story building to the Minneapolis-based developer late last month, according to a public real estate filing with the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
Wells Fargo began exiting the operations center in July of 2021 in an effort to streamline its property portfolio. A majority of employees from the site were relocated to other Wells Fargo office spaces in Minneapolis, according to Wells Fargo spokesperson Staci Schiller.
“As part of our multiyear effort to build a stronger, more efficient Wells Fargo, we continually assess our real estate portfolio to ensure we are best meeting the needs of employees and customers, responding to consumer and economic trends, and managing our costs responsibly,” Schiller said in a statement. “… “We will continue to have a major employee presence in Minneapolis.”
The building, at 255 Second Ave. S, was constructed in 1979 and reaches nearly 561,000 square feet of space, including its basement. It fills an entire city block, which is surrounded by Washington Avenue, Third Avenue, Third Street and Second Avenue. The building is connected to the city’s skyway system.
Despite its size, the operations building is smaller and much less prominent than Wells Fargo’s chief downtown anchor, the 1.1 million-square-foot Wells Fargo Towers near U.S. Bank Stadium. The bank also still has some employees in the 1.2 million-square-foot Wells Fargo Center.
The roughly 2-acre property once had a red, three-legged sculpture standing on the corner of Third Street and Second Avenue. The large sculpture, called “Inner Search” by Mark di Suvero, was recently taken down and put in storage.
It’s not clear why Sherman acquired the property, as the developer didn’t reply to a request for comment. The city of Minneapolis doesn’t have record of any notable recent permit applications for the property.
Sherman acquired the building and land at a price far below the estimated value of the property. This year, Hennepin County estimates the building and land are valued at a combined approximately $24 million.
Sherman is an active developer in the area. It’s currently redeveloping the Northstar Center, turning around 300,000 square feet of office space into 216 apartments. It’s also preserving and updating around 325,000 square feet of the block-wide complex’s office space.
The Northstar Center will also be home to a new Hotel Indigo by IHG, once Madison, W.I.-based Wilson Street Hotel Group’s work finishes. The hotel will have 218 rooms.
Down Washington Avenue from the Wells Fargo Operations Center is two more ongoing Sherman projects. One includes the redevelopment of an entire block, which will ultimately house a 22-story market rate apartment building, new fire station, and six-story, 90-unit affordable housing building.
It’s also redeveloping the nearby J. I. Case building.
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