Spec office building uptown signs its first tenant

Construction continues on 615 South College, a new office tower being built in uptown Charlotte, on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016.
Construction continues on 615 South College, a new office tower being built in uptown Charlotte, on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016.

Regions Bank will be the first tenant at the new 615 South College office tower under construction uptown, Portman Holdings said Tuesday.

Regions is leasing 63,806 square feet at the 19-story building, which was launched on a speculative basis, with no anchor tenants. The building is set to “top out,” or complete vertical construction, in October, and is on track for a March completion.

“This facility gives Regions a highly visible location and state-of- the-art office space that will support our long-term, continued growth in the Charlotte market,” said John Turner, head of Regions Corporate Banking, in a statement. The company is consolidating several different offices and business groups throughout Charlotte in the new location. Regions has about 200 employees in the city, and except for those in retail branches, most will move into 615 South College in 2017.

“Bringing our business groups together into one modern facility will support our focus on taking a holistic approach toward serving clients,” said Michelle Walters, area president for Regions Bank. Executives said they also believe the modern new offices – with access to the Blue Line light rail and adjacent to a new Whole Foods under construction – will help recruit and retain employees.

The building is one of several new office towers uptown, including 300 South Tryon (under construction, with Babson Capital as an anchor tenant), the proposed Tryon Place on the site of a former Goodyear auto center at Tryon and Stonewall, and Lincoln Harris’ planned redevelopment of the former Charlotte Observer site with a mixed-use project.

The 615 South College building, at 372,000 square feet, has a projected cost of $122 million, with China Orient Summit Capital contributing equity. Atlanta-based Portman Holdings, which developed the adjacent Westin hotel, is the lead developer on the project, and Trinity Partners has been marketing the office space.

“Regions has been a great partner to us in our development projects and we are delighted to extend and grow the relationship,” said Ambrish Baisiwala, CEO of Portman Holdings. “We are honored that Regions has entrusted us with the relocation of their business groups in Charlotte and look forward to seeing them thrive in the 615 South College space.”

Travis Garland, of Portman and Trinity Partners’ John Ball and Peter Conway, represented the building’s ownership. Sim Wilson, Mike Fahey and Mark Decherd of CBRE represented Regions. Headquartered in Alabama, Regions has $126 billion worth of assets.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo