Truist Financial Buys Charlotte HQ from Cousins for $456M

A BB&T and SunTrust venture—now Truist Financial—exercised its option to purchase the nearly 1 million-square-foot office property.
Hearst Tower. Image courtesy of Cousins Properties

Several months after leasing more than half a million square feet at Cousins Properties’ 970,000-square-foot Hearst Tower in Charlotte, N.C., Truist Financial Corp. has purchased the building in a $455.5 million transaction. The deal to form Truist Financial, the result of a merger betweeb BB&T Corp. and SunTrust Bank, was closed earlier this week.

The new entity will house its headquarters at the 46-story, Class A office tower, where they leased 561,000 square feet of space in a 15-year lease this past June. As part of the lease agreement, the firm had the option to purchase the building, located on N. Tryon Street near East 5th St. The deal is expected to close in March 2020.

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Cousins Properties had owned the property since 2012, when the firm acquired it from Bank of America in a $250 million deal. The LEED Certified Green Building was built in 2001 and is currently more than 97 percent occupied, according to Yardi Matrix data.

Another office property just down the block from the Hearst Tower changed hands recently. In June, a joint venture of Nuveen and Crescent Communities paid $132.2 million for 101 North Tryon, a 546,878-square-foot office tower, from sellers Barings LLC and LRC Properties. The property was built in 1983 but had been recently renovated.

Charlotte’s office market has experienced an uptick in deals over the last several months, as a result of population growth and several companies relocating to the Queen City, including Honeywell and Lowe’s. The city’s booming financial sector and tech industry, in particular, have led to a big boost in office leasing, according to a recent Yardi Matrix report on the metro.