Truist shrinks its presence in Atlanta

Truist unveiled its new logo Monday. The merged bank said, “Truist Purple, the defining color of the new brand, is the combination of heritage BB&T burgundy and SunTrust blue.” The two “T”s in the logo are said to represent Touch + Technology.
Truist unveiled its new logo Monday. The merged bank said, “Truist Purple, the defining color of the new brand, is the combination of heritage BB&T burgundy and SunTrust blue.” The two “T”s in the logo are said to represent Touch + Technology.

Truist Bank’s presence in Atlanta is getting smaller.

The company, formed by the merger of SunTrust and BB&T in 2019, has reduced the amount of office space it occupies in several buildings in metro Atlanta, vacating about 486,000 square feet since early 2020, according to real estate data provider CoStar. Put into perspective, the downtown office tower formerly known as the Equitable building has about 622,000 square feet.

The reduction was expected after Truist decided to establish its headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. SunTrust had been based in Atlanta, and BB&T was headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Truist also has closed retail branches. It shut down 149 branches nationwide in 2020 and plans to close about 400 more this year. Truist operated 341 branches in metro Atlanta as of June 30, 2020, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

In metro Atlanta, Truist has about 7,400 employees, said spokesman Mike McCoy. He declined to provide a total for previous years.

It’s likely that, had it not merged with BB&T to form Truist, SunTrust would have reduced the size of its workforce in Atlanta anyway, said Christopher Marinac, an analyst at investment bank Janney Montgomery Scott.

“Thanks to technology and digital banking, jobs are going to be replaced one way or another” as banks try to save money, he said.

Through cost-cutting, Truist posted a $1.2 billion profit in the three-month period that ended Dec. 31.

Truist’s approach to office space in the post-pandemic world will “provide teammates with flexibility and more opportunities to collaborate, while also allowing for proper social distancing and our COVID-19 safety protocols,” McCoy said in an emailed statement.

He said Truist remains committed to Atlanta and has pledged to double its charitable giving in the region over a 3-year period to $300 million. Included in that total was $6 million donated for pandemic relief to nonprofit groups including the United Way of Greater Atlanta.

While Truist has vacated offices, it’s unclear where the employees went. Some may have been reassigned to other Atlanta office buildings, McCoy said.

Truist has vacated space in at least six Atlanta office buildings since early 2020. It left about 80,000 square feet at 271 17th Street in Atlantic Station in March this year, according to CoStar.

Also this year, it vacated 13,000 square feet at 980 Hammond Drive in Sandy Springs, and 6,000 square feet at 4401 Northside Parkway, McCoy said.

Truist also has vacated 287,000 square feet at the Marquis One and Two towers at Peachtree Center and 100,000 square feet at Campanile in Midtown.

McCoy declined to say if Truist will vacate more Atlanta area offices this year. Truist plans to reduce office space nationwide by 4.8 million square feet by December, the company said in a January presentation to investors.

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