UPDATE: Wells Fargo plans downtown Tacoma relocation

A contractor was hard at work Tuesday afternoon in downtown Tacoma converting street-level retail space once home to a cafe and wine bar into Wells Fargo Bank’s new main branch.

According to public records available on the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Web site, Wells Fargo submitted an application to relocate its downtown Tacoma main branch from 1201 Pacific Avenue (Wells Fargo Plaza) to 1001 Pacific Avenue on Aug. 16, 2013. The request was approved on Sept. 4, 2013.

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A Wells Fargo spokesperson Tuesday confirmed the bank is relocating its downtown Tacoma banking store, but declined to offer more details about the move until early next week.

The space was once home to Bernardo’s Aroma Cafe and Vinum Coffee and Wine Lounge.

Last year, Opus Bank opened a branch at 950 Pacific Avenue, just a block south of the new Wells Fargo location.

Wells Fargo Bank will relocate its downtown Tacoma banking store to 1001 Pacific Avenue. (PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)

Wells Fargo Bank will relocate its downtown Tacoma banking store to 1001 Pacific Avenue. (PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)

UPDATE — Weds., Jan. 29 @ 8:01 a.m.: On Tuesday afternoon, the Tacoma Daily Index contacted Unico Properties, which owns and manages Wells Fargo Plaza, with the following questions: Is Wells Fargo moving entirely out of the Wells Fargo Building? If so, will Wells Fargo Plaza be renamed? Are there any plans to lease former Wells Fargo space to a new tenant? Unico Properties General Manager Russ Davis responded, “Today we don’t have any comment on this item. I can say that the building is and will remain named Wells Fargo Plaza.”

UPDATE — Thurs., Jan. 30 @ 8:55 a.m.: Wells Fargo Bank has issued the following statement:

Wells Fargo banking store to relocate to new downtown Tacoma location

TACOMA, Jan. 30, 2014 – Construction is underway on a new Wells Fargo banking store in downtown Tacoma at 1001 Pacific Ave. The 1,600-square-foot store is set to open Monday, March 24 and will be located about two blocks away from its current location in the Wells Fargo Plaza at 1201 Pacific Ave.

“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,” said Kasey Essex, Greater Puget Sound area president. “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.”

All 10 existing Wells Fargo team members will transfer from its current store location and will continue to provide a complete range of financial services, including consumer and business banking, loans and lines of credit, financial investing, mortgages, and insurance services. The new store will 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.

The new store will be open extended hours from its previous location: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

A variety of Wells Fargo business lines will continue to have offices at the Wells Fargo Plaza and there will continue to be ATM located in the lobby for customer use.

Todd Matthews is editor of the Tacoma Daily Index and recipient of an award for Outstanding Achievement in Media from the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation for his work covering historic preservation in Tacoma and Pierce County. He has earned four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including third-place honors for his feature article about the University of Washington’s Innocence Project; first-place honors for his feature article about Seattle’s bike messengers; third-place honors for his feature interview with Prison Legal News founder Paul Wright; and second-place honors for his feature article about whistle-blowers in Washington State. His work has also appeared in All About Jazz, City Arts Tacoma, Earshot Jazz, Homeland Security Today, Jazz Steps, Journal of the San Juans, Lynnwood-Mountlake Terrace Enterprise, Prison Legal News, Rain Taxi, Real Change, Seattle Business Monthly, Seattle magazine, Tablet, Washington CEO, Washington Law & Politics, and Washington Free Press. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications. His journalism is collected online at wahmee.com.