Top Stories 2014: #5 — Wells Fargo Bank relocation

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Tacoma Daily Index is looking back at the 10 most popular and most read articles among visitors to our Web site. Enjoy!

One weekday morning in January, I was in downtown Tacoma when I noticed a contractor was hard at work converting street-level retail space once home to a cafe and wine bar into a new Wells Fargo Bank branch.

That seemed odd considering the 25-story, 308,000-square-foot, city-block-sized Wells Fargo Plaza high-rise was located just two blocks away. After digging into public records online, I noticed Wells Fargo submitted an application to the U.S. Department of the Treasury to relocate its downtown Tacoma main branch from Wells Fargo Plaza, located at 1201 Pacific Ave., to this new location at 1001 Pacific Ave. The request was approved in September 2013.

A Wells Fargo Bank spokesperson confirmed the relocation plans, but wouldn’t share more. A spokesperson for Unico Properties, which owns and manages Wells Fargo Plaza, wouldn’t comment other than to confirm the downtown Tacoma tower “is — and will remain — Wells Fargo Plaza.”

I published an article with the information I was able to gather, letting readers know I would update the story once more information was available (see “Wells Fargo plans downtown Tacoma relocation,” Tacoma Daily Index, Jan. 28, 2014). The story was very popular among Tacoma Daily Index readers (see Tacoma Daily Index Top Stories — January 2014,” Tacoma Daily Index, Feb. 3, 2014) and others (see “Downtown Tacoma’s Well Fargo bank moving out of Wells Fargo Plaza,” The News Tribune, Jan. 29, 2014).

Two days later, Well Fargo Bank issued a press release confirming their plans. The new branch would open in late-March. All 10 existing Wells Fargo employees would move from Wells Fargo Plaza to the new 1,600-square-foot location, which would feature five teller windows, a street-level ATM, night drop, a historic mural highlighting the neighborhood’s unique history, and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver-certified design. A variety of Wells Fargo business lines would continue to have offices at the Wells Fargo Plaza, and there would continue to be ATM located in the lobby for customer use.

“Our new banking store will be larger to better suit the needs of our customers and will provide convenient street-level access to the downtown Tacoma community,” added a Wells Fargo spokesperson. “This new store location is an investment in our customers, team members and the entire Tacoma community. We are excited to offer our customers a comfortable banking environment for them to conduct their business.”

To read a monthly breakdown of the Tacoma Daily Index’s most read articles of 2014, click on the following links:

Todd Matthews is editor of the Tacoma Daily Index, an award-winning journalist, and author of A Reporter At Large: A decade of Tacoma interviews, feature articles, and photographs. His journalism is collected online at wahmee.com.