SunTrust finds 66,000 spare square feet

The SunTrust Center tower at 919 E. Main St. (Photo by David Larter)

The SunTrust Center tower at 919 E. Main St. (Photo by David Larter)

Clarification: The New York-based NorthStar REIT holds the $43 million note on SunTrust Center. Parmenter Realty Partners, out of Miami, owns the property. 

One of Richmond’s biggest employers has more office than it knows what to do with.

SunTrust has almost 66,000 square feet of its downtown office space up for sublease, including upper floors in its SunTrust Center tower at 919 E. Main St.

The bank is subletting a total of 37,800 square feet on the 24th, 21st and fourth floors of the 25-story, 458,000-square-foot building.

SunTrust leases 288,000 square feet in the building, which is owned by NorthStar Real Estate Income Trust, a New York REIT.

Hugh Suhr, a SunTrust spokesman, said the bank was able to piece together some marketable real estate while shuffling its staff.

“We have been in the process of assessing our space requirements throughout our organization and taking advantage of some opportunities created by shifting our workforce and consolidating unused space,” Suhr said.

In addition to the space in SunTrust Center, the firm is vacating its lease at the Davenport Building at 11 S. 10th St. The entire 28,000-square-foot space is up for lease, according to marketing materials from Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer.

SunTrust is looking to get $14 per square foot, per year at the Davenport Building and $18.50 per square foot at SunTrust Center.

Brian Berkey, a broker with Thalhimer, is representing both spaces. He was unavailable for comment by press time.

Suhr said the extra space was not a result staff cuts, although the company did eliminate Richmond region chief executive Gail Letts this year. Including its mortgage operations in Manchester, SunTrust has more than 4,000 employees in the Richmond area.

Inside Business, a business journal in Norfolk, reported last month that the company has cut about 9 percent of its staff nationwide since the end of 2011.

“Our employment numbers in Richmond have remained fairly steady, so the available space in this market is simply a derivative of more effective and efficient use of our space,” Suhr said in an email to BizSense, adding that its headcount in Richmond is second only to that of its headquarters in Atlanta.

Other firms across town are looking to sublet excess space.

Troutman Sanders is considering subleasing the 10th floor in its building on the Haxall Canal — about 27,300 square feet. Troutman COO Bob Seabolt said in an email the firm has had some discussions with prospective tenants but that no deals were inked.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch, left with extra space on the ground floor of its main office on Franklin Street, is trying to attract local startups to take up residence there.

And in the suburbs, Altria is looking to sublet its 225,180 square feet at Westmark I near Innsbrook. Altria vacated the space last year when it consolidated to its West End headquarters.


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