Anniston Wells Fargo building closing June 7
by Patrick McCreless
pmccreless@annistonstar.com
May 13, 2013 | 9551 views |  0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Wells Fargo Bank building in Anniston. Photo by Stephen Gross.
The Wells Fargo Bank building in Anniston. Photo by Stephen Gross.
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Wells Fargo will close its six-story Anniston building June 7 to demolish and replace it with a new bank by spring of next year, the company said Monday.

According to a Monday press release, the national bank chain Wells Fargo will close its building on Quintard Avenue at noon June 7 and its drive thru at 4 p.m. the same day. After the closing, a temporary bank building at 1000 Quintard Ave. adjacent to the current building will serve local Wells Fargo customers.

Wells Fargo will raze the building over a six-month period following the closing and a new, more efficient bank will be built in its place, said Jamie Dexter, spokeswoman for Wells Fargo.

Unlike the old building, the new Wells Fargo bank will be one story and will have eight banker desks instead of five and a more welcoming lobby, Dexter said. She said the new building will be brick and its design will be consistent with other architecture in the city.

"The new store will have an open floor plan that will allow our bankers to meet with our customers more easily," Dexter said.

Dexter said that the building will be much more energy efficient. Also, the number of tellers and drive thru lanes will remain unchanged, she said.

Built in 1973, the building was a Wachovia bank before Wells Fargo bought the company and took control of the Anniston facility in 2009. Dexter said the building has several problems due to its age.

"The current building has numerous issues with plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning systems along with cosmetic issues," Dexter said. "And it is not energy efficient."

Toby Bennington, Anniston city planner, said the old building is also not cost effective for Wells Fargo.

"There is too much building to maintain," Bennington said.

The large building did hold several tenants but the rental occupancy rate had been dwindling there for some time. The last of the tenants moved out of the building March 15, Dexter said.

Bennington said Wells Fargo keeping a presence in Anniston will be good for the company.

"It will remain on the Quintard Avenue corridor ... so it will be good access for customers," Bennington said.

Bennington said Anniston will also benefit from a continued Wells Fargo presence.

"It's because another strong financial institution is maintaining a presence in the city," he said. "Wells Fargo has a large number of customers who do business downtown."

Much of Anniston's downtown is littered with vacant office and business buildings, a symptom of the declining area economy.

Bennington said the city of Anniston will do whatever it can to help keep business in the city limits.

"Whatever is good for business, the city wants to support," he said.

In Alabama, Wells Fargo serves customers at more than 190 locations and employs 3,900 people.

Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.

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