No more name in lights for Wells Fargo Center Downtown

The bank opted out of replacing the burned-out bulbs as it downsizes in the tower and no longer carries signage rights.

The Wells Fargo sign on top of the tower now called 1 Independent along the Northbank riverfront in Downtown Jacksonville will be coming down.
The Wells Fargo sign on top of the tower now called 1 Independent along the Northbank riverfront in Downtown Jacksonville will be coming down.
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It’s literally lights out for the Wells Fargo sign on top of the tower now called 1 Independent along the Northbank riverfront in Downtown Jacksonville.

The Wells Fargo sign is not lighted at night and won’t be as the banking institution downsizes within the 37-story tower and will no longer carry signage rights.

The signs are coming down, but no date has been determined.

Wells Fargo confirmed May 20 that it was working on plans to remove its name from the top of the tower.

Wells Fargo remains a tenant in the building at 1 Independent Drive.

The former Wells Fargo Center now is open for new tenant signage.

Wells Fargo has had its name on the tower since 2011 and has been leasing more than 100,000 square feet of space among seven floors. It is expected to downsize to two floors. 

The name is no longer in lights, either.

“The sign hasn’t been lit for close to a year,” said Zac Gruber, president of the Office Division of Miami-based Banyan Street Capital, the owner’s agent.

Gruber said May 20 that several bulbs were out and Wells Fargo “elected to turn it off until the bulbs could be replaced.”

“Following their (lease) renewal, they decided not to spend the money to replace the lights since the sign would be coming down anyway and the costs were material,” Gruber said.

He expected an update soon.

Gruber said the situation is an “opportunity for a new tenant to obtain signage rights on one of the most recognizable buildings in Florida.”

“We’re having conversations with a few different options,” he said.

An entity managed by Argentic Investment Management LLC of New York City said April 26 it acquired Wells Fargo Center and that the building’s former owner, Banyan Street Capital, was retained as the exclusive owner’s agent.

The new owners said they will continue the capital improvement plan for the nearly 50-year-old signature tower that began under previous ownership.

The group also indicated there could be a new name on the tower, which would be the fifth name since the high-rise was built in 1975 for Jacksonville-based insurance company Independent Life.

Argentic said in April it will “market the tower’s building-top signage opportunity and is already in discussions with two financial institutions.”

“This comes as Wells Fargo plans to downsize and extend its lease at the property, which will take place in October 2024,” the release said.

Gruber said April 29 he could not comment on whether Wells Fargo is in talks to continue its signage. He also had no comment on the size of the bank’s lease before and after downsizing, the location of the two financial institutions he is speaking with, or when a signage decision will be made.

“This is one of the most iconic and visible building top signs in the Southeast, and it represents a tremendous opportunity for a tenant desiring national exposure to accompany a large format lease,” Gruber said in the April 26 release.

Wells Fargo Tower spans 655,000 square feet of space on an entire city block next to the Riverwalk.

Market sources say Wells Fargo occupies from 105,000 to about 110,000 square feet of space in the high-rise but will drop to less than 50,000 square feet in October.

The building now is about 88% leased. The downsize in the Wells Fargo lease would provide more than 100,000 square feet of available space to a tenant that might be interested in naming rights.

The tower was built as the headquarters for Jacksonville-based Independent Life & Accident Insurance Co. and was known as the Independent Life Building.

It became the AccuStaff Building starting in 1998 and later the Modis Building before Wells Fargo became the anchor tenant in 2011.

Wells Fargo moved in after Adecco Group North America moved its operations to the Southside, vacating space in what was then the Modis Building and opening up the opportunity for a name on top of the tower.

Adecco bought Modis’ parent company.



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