Bank of America has found a single buyer for two Wilmington buildings—Bracebridge I on N. King St. and Bracebridge III on N. French St.— that it announced were for sale in February of last year.
The sale of these buildings would leave the bank with just one building in Wilmington, also on N. French St. The company has two other Delaware campuses—Deerfield and Christiana—in suburban Newark. Company spokesperson Trevor Koenig says that staff at the buildings for sale in Wilmington may be moved to these three other Delaware locations.
Bank of America currently employs around 1,200 people in Wilmington and nearly 6,700 across the state. The company has said the sale of the buildings is not due to any staffing changes in Delaware.
Koenig says the sales are part of a global effort for the bank to be more efficient with its space.
James DeChene, Senior Vice President of Government Relations at the Delaware Chamber of Commerce, says Bank of America is not alone in that.
“We’ve seen sort of a trend nationwide, and certainly here in Wilmington, that there aren’t these big businesses coming in requiring hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space,” he said.
According to DuChene, large businesses across the country are not only consolidating office space, but pulling out of urban centers in favor of suburban offices. DuChene says this can impact city tax revenue.
“One of the concerning pieces is that … every employee that works in the city pays a wage tax to the city, and Wilmington gets a good deal of their funding from that tax,” DuChene said. “So there are less people in the city, there are less dollars coming in, and Wilmington is going to have to figure out how to make budget without that revenue stream.”
Because of these trends, DuChene says office real estate in Wilmington might need to look different in the future.
“If you’re focusing on a startup community and entrepreneur community, they need smaller space. So it will be interesting to see if there’s a way to incorporate that into whoever is buying these two Bracebridge buildings.”
Bank of America has not said what the buildings might be used for if they are sold. Company spokesperson Trevor Koenig says more information about the buyer will be available after the sale is finalized.