Bank of America spokesman Tony Allen confirmed the long-rumored decision to sell the buildings.
According to Allen the company decided to putBracebridge I and Bracebridge III buildings on the market as part of the “company’s global efforts to find opportunities to be more efficient with its space.”
He added that the “announcement is consistent with a decision we made in 2012 when we donated Bracebridge IV, one of our other downtown Wilmington locations, to the Longwood Foundation to create an education center for some schools in the city”
He reiterated that the bank remains committed to the city and state and that the headcount will not change as a result of the announcement. The majority of Wilmington employees will be moved to the company’s other location (Bracebridge II.
CBRE was selected as the selling agent for the buildings.
Wilmington Mayor Michael Purzycki made the following statement regarding the decision, “We value Bank of America as a good corporate citizen with an excellent social conscience. The company has been and will continue to be good for and to Wilmington. This is a business decision on their part that does not in any way diminish their commitment to Wilmington and Delaware. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with Bank of America.”
Bank of America’s predecessor MBNA moved its headquarters from the Ogletown area south of Newark to downtown in the 1990s and bought up property in the area. for the complex. The buildings became well known for their plush décor and expansive lobbies. The complex also had a helipad that transported executives to New York and other destinations or the New Castle Airport, home of the company’s fleet of private jets.
Since the sale of MBNA to Bank of America, the size of the workforce in downtown and elsewhere has been reduced.
Bank of America does not disclose total employment figures for Delaware. However, it is believed that the company has more than 6,000 employees in the state. At its peak, MBNA employed 10,000.
A fraction of the workforce is located in downtown, with others working out of suburban sites.
A few years ago, Bank fo America announced it would retain a presence in Delaware, despite companywide cost-cutting efforts. The bank has gradually added branch banking offices in northern Delaware.
The Bank of American buildings that had long been rumored to be on the block were in the news a few months ago when a rumor surfaced that DuPont spin-off Chemours was studying the complex as the new site for its corporate headquarters. Chemours opted to stay at its current location, the former DuPont Co. headquarters.
The building and the Hotel dDuPont will undergo a renovation project under new owner Buccini/Pollin Group.