Landmark Building in the Southern Part of Heaven Gets New Owner

It’s the end of an era for one of the most architecturally distinct commercial buildings in Chapel Hill.

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

It’s the end of an era for one of the most architecturally distinct commercial buildings in Chapel Hill.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, which ranks as the state’s largest health insurer, is planning to consolidate its operations to a group of office buildings in Durham.

As part of the transition, the company has reached an agreement to sell its iconic rhomboid-shaped headquarters building and campus at 1830 Chapel Hill Blvd. in Chapel Hill to the Raleigh-based State Employees Credit Union (SECU).

According to the Triangle Business Journal, the sale is expected to close later this fall for $35 million.

BCBSNC had earlier announced that in 2016 it would relocate from the headquarters to the Durham Campus. The decision was prompted by the fact that the company would save more by moving to the new offices than by retrofitting the four-story, 240,293-square-foot Chapel Hill structure to lower its operation costs.

According to Jim Blaine, president of SECU, the facility will help the company address two immediate goals: it will host a back-up disaster recovery center outside of Raleigh, since it includes a data center, back-up generators, and data communication lines, and it will also enable the relocation of the nearby Elliott Road branch. At the purchase, SECU plans to upgrade the 1973 property.

About 900 employees still work from the Chapel Hill office, which BCBSN will lease through the first half of 2016, until it completes the move.

“This is one of those ‘right place at the right time’ opportunities,” said BCBSNC president & CEO Brad Wilson. “This transaction involves two North Carolina companies and one very special property with a proud history.”

In recognition of its unique architecture, the Chapel Hill building featured in the New York Times Magazine, Time and Newsweek, and was also part of a design exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Photo credits: BCBSNC