Shipt Tower

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Top of the Wells Fargo Tower, September 2010

The Shipt Tower (formerly SouthTrust Tower, Wachovia Tower, and Wells Fargo Tower) is a 454-foot tall, 34 story, 514,893-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 for Shipt, as well as 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, Illinois 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 tenants 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. The Hertz Investment Group purchased the tower, along with 20th Place South in Homewood and four buildings at Inverness Center, in 2015 as part of the multi-state "HPT Sunbelt Portfolio" which was backed by a $146.7 million loan from Wells Fargo. The downtown tower was valued at $75.98 million in that transaction.

Shipt leased 60,000 square feet in the tower in early 2019. The "Wells Fargo" roof signs were removed on November 23. Shipt added its logo to the roof in 2020.

In February 2022 the portfolio's remaining mortgage debts were considered "at risk", and were transferred to "special servicing" by Rialto Capital of Miami, Florida to protect the loans' value for investors. In 2024 Wells Fargo accused Hertz of defaulting on its loan by failing to fund building operations, forcing the bank to pay Alabama Power Company to avoid losing electrical service. the portfolio entered into receivership, under the administration of Riveron of Dallas, Texas. Cushman & Wakefield / EGS Commercial Real Estate were engaged to lease and manage the properties.



  • "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
  • Techo, Erica (June 10, 2015) "Hertz Investment Group purchases multiple Birmingham properties." 280 Living
  • Godwin, Brent (January 7, 2019) "Shipt inks huge lease downtown; skyscraper will become Shipt Tower in 2020." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Coker, Angel (March 18, 2019) "Wells Fargo to relocate downtown branch." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Dunigan, Jonece Starr (November 23, 2019) "Wells Fargo’s name removed from Birmingham’s tallest building." The Birmingham News
  • Stettheimer, Samuel (June 26, 2024) "Portfolio holding Birmingham's tallest tower enters receivership amid revenue, occupancy slumps." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Denham, Hannah (July 1, 2024) "What’s next for Birmingham’s tallest office building after $147 million loan default?"

External links