Wells Fargo Tower

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Top of the Wells Fargo Tower, September 2010

The Wells Fargo Tower (formerly SouthTrust Tower and Wachovia Tower) is a 454 foot tall, 34 story, 515,000 square foot office tower and 223-car parking deck located at 420 20th Street North, at the southwest corner of 5th Avenue North. It serves as corporate office space serving multiple tenants including Wells Fargo Bank and the law firm of Burr & Forman.

Completed in August 1986, the postmodern-style skyscraper was developed for SouthTrust Bank by Johnson-Rast & Hays on behalf of owners Equitable and North Sixty Associates. The $31 million building was designed by Donald C. Smith of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of Chicago with Giattina, Fisher & Company serving as the local associated firm and Brice Building Company serving as the general contractor. The building's frame was "topped out" on October 16, 1985.

It has remained Birmingham's tallest building since its completion. It is also the tallest building between Atlanta and Dallas, and was the tallest building in the state of Alabama until 2006 when it was surpassed by the RSA Battle House Tower in Mobile. The grey granite skin stretches from the building's base to the grey-glass penthouse enclosure.

SouthTrust Tower in 2005 (with window washer)

The original SouthTrust "S" on each side of the penthouse was replaced with four large Wachovia logos over the weekend of October 8-9, 2005 to reflect the bank's purchase by Wachovia Corp of Charlotte, North Carolina. Wachovia was acquired by Wells Fargo Bank of San Francisco, California on January 1, 2009. The Wachovia logos were removed on September 11-12, 2010 and Wells Fargo nameplates installed.

The building was purchased for $55 million on June 30, 2004 by Atlanta-based Barry Real Estate, which then embarked on a $22 million renovation project, completed in 2006. As part of the sale, the Birmingham Parking Authority pledged to provide adequate parking for building tenants.

The project included renovations to the main lobby, restrooms, air-conditioning system and elevators. The lobby renovations made 11,000 square feet of retail or restaurant space available for lease. Sandner Commercial Real Estate manages the property for Barry. In 2011 New York's AREA Property Partners sold the building to an affiliate of the Newton, Massachusetts-based Commonwealth REIT for $68.5 million.

Portions of the street level first floor were subdivided for tennants other than the bank, and on May 16, 2014, sushi restaurant Maki Fresh opened their second Birmingham location in a spot along 5th Avenue North.



  • "Birmingham's tallest office tower sold for $55M." (March 4, 2006) Birmingham Business Journal
  • Wachovia Tower, accessed 27 September 2006. [1]
  • Kent, Dawn (March 13, 2008) "Renovated tower hungry for tenants." The Birmingham News
  • Carlton, Bob (May 16, 2014) "Maki Fresh restaurant opens in downtown Birmingham today; here's a sneak preview." The Birmingham News

External links