Jacksonville-based credit union closes on SunTrust Tower, expects staff to be moved in by July 2019.
What a difference a year will make for VyStar Credit Union.
The Jacksonville-based financial services company expects to move its headquarters staff of 700 people, a branch financial office and its signage to the top of what is now the SunTrust Tower by the end of July 2019.
That’s when SunTrust’s lease expires at what will become VyStar Tower.
The credit union paid $59 million for the 23-story high-rise at 76 S. Laura St. in a sale that closed Tuesday.
“There’s nothing but good news about Downtown,” said Brian Wolfburg, president and CEO of VyStar Credit Union.
Wolfburg said VyStar’s investment and its move of 700 employees Downtown will help to generate demand for housing, restaurants and retail shops.
“Downtown is the identity for all of Jacksonville. It’s what corporate scouts think of as the area, so I think this shows a real commitment by us,” he said.
VyStar bought the 358,278-square-foot tower, built in 1989, and the adjacent 612-space parking garage.
Wolfburg said half of the garage spaces are leased by current building tenants. VyStar is working with the city to lease 425 spaces in the garage being built to serve the Barnett building and the Laura Street Trio.
VyStar is working with Jacksonville University to remain as a tenant but expects to use remaining space as tenants vacate.
Wolfburg hopes to have some people in by year-end.
It also will be renovating its Blanding Boulevard headquarters.
The current plan is for VyStar to occupy 11 floors of the building, with the executive floor on the 20th story and the employee lounge, cowork space and other employee benefits and amenities on the 22nd and 23rd floors.
Wolfburg said if SunTrust wants to vacate its space before its lease expires, VyStar would move ahead on plans.
“We will work as much as possible to help with their transition,” Wolfburg said.
SunTrust spokesman Thomas Crosson said he had no update about the bank’s plans.
Colliers International Northeast Florida represented the seller, Mainstreet Capital Partners, in the sale to VyStar.
Mainstreet Capital Partners bought the tower in 2015 in a joint venture with CarVal Investors LLC for $31.1 million.
Colliers International Northeast Florida will remain as the leasing agent for the building.
Wolfburg said buying the tower “was the most economical option to ensure our team has a strong home base from which to serve our 615,000 members across Florida.”
A news release issued Tuesday said Mainstreet Capital Partners and CarVal Investors LLC recently completed a three-year, $2 million renovation to update the Class A office tower.
VyStar says it is the largest credit union based in Jacksonville and the 17th largest in the country based on assets totaling more than $7.7 billion.
Membership is open to everyone who lives and works in 22 counties in Northeast and Central Florida.
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