Wells Fargo building to close, tenants say
by Laura Camper
lcamper@annistonstar.com
Aug 14, 2012 | 9015 views |  0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Anniston lawyer Arthur Fite said he was one of the first tenants in the Wells Fargo building in 1974.

It looks like he will also be one of the last.

Fite said he received word on Monday that the structure, a six-story office building in the 1000 block of Quintard Avenue, would be demolished and that he would have to find a new by Dec. 31.

“I’m a very unhappy camper,” Fite said.

It wasn’t entirely unexpected, though. Fite said he had met with the rental agent for the building last May and had been told that Wells Fargo was looking to get out of the rental business.

The rental occupancy rate at the building has been dwindling since then, Fite said. His business is the only tenant left on the fourth floor of the building.

City planner Toby Bennington said representatives of Wells Fargo had approached him about requirements for a new design for the site.

“I have a meeting with them on Wednesday to discuss (zoning) requirements,” Bennington said.

It’s not uncommon for building owners to rebuild rather than renovate if the renovations are extensive or if they’re looking to downsize, Bennington said. The city will work with the company to make the transition as smooth as possible, he said.

“Right now, it’s important to keep them here,” Bennington said.

Tom Harmon, an attorney with Brooks, Harmon and Johnston, confirmed that he had also had a phone call today from the company. The company said the firm would be receiving a written notice about the plans, which he hasn’t seen.

The firm has been in the building for about three years and has a five-year lease on its space. Harmon, who said he had only received the call a couple of hours before talking to The Star, said that at this point he doesn’t know what the firm will do.

“We have not had a chance to review the lease or review our options,” Harmon said.

Bill Julian, an accountant who has rented office space in the building for more than 10 years, said he wasn't in his office today to receive the call, but he's heard rumors of the closing. The building has had maintenance issues and scaffolding has been set up for over a year now, Julian said.

"It's a shame because, to me, it's always been the business center of Anniston," Julian said.

According to Calhoun County tax records, the 77,000-square-foot building was built in 1972 and is valued at $2.9 million.
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Wells Fargo building to close, tenants say by Laura Camper
lcamper@annistonstar.com

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