Capital One Bank said Wednesday it is relocating its downtown offices at 440 Third St. to the One American Place building, which lies less than a block away at 310 Main St.
Capital One is the only occupant in the eight-story building and has put it up for sale, as previously reported last month when Capital One would not comment.
The relocation involves around 110 employees, spokesman Steven Thorpe said Wednesday.
The workers will move in stages. The move will begin this month for workers in the offices above the first floor, where the bank branch is located. Those employees will move to the 17th and 18th floors of One American Place.
Capital One expects to complete the move sometime in the first half of 2013, when the 440 Third St. branch lobby relocates to the ground floor of the One American Place building.
“Everybody that’s in that building is moving over,” Thorpe said, when asked if any layoffs were planned.
In a news release, Capital One Baton Rouge area President Ric Kearny said the company wanted to stay downtown, and One American Place is just a short walk from the bank’s current building.
The bank believes its customers and employees will enjoy the quality and amenities of the new building and its office space, Kearny said.
Brannon Pesnell, associate broker with Beau Box Commercial Real Estate, said Capital One is leasing around 29,000 square feet of office space, while the bank branch is around 5,500 square feet.
“Capital One is a positive sign the market’s improving,” Pesnell said.
“We’ve been able to lease, with everything else combined, another full floor of the former Kean Miller space.”
The law firm had leased around 90,000 square feet in One American Place — four full floors, most of another and half of yet another, Pesnell said. The lease ended at the end of last month, but Kean Miller moved to the II City Plaza building downtown around 18 months ago.
With Capital One’s move, One American Place now has vacancies on the sixth, seventh, 20th and 21st floors, Pesnell said, and the asking price is $20 per square foot.
Pesnell said the demand for commercial office space has recently seen drastic improvements, not just downtown but throughout the market.
Meanwhile, Capital One has put its 111,000-square-foot building up for sale.
Capital One has gotten offers for the building and is evaluating them, Thorpe said. Thorpe said he could not offer any other details.
Vision City, the group that redeveloped the Hotel Indigo and Kress at Third and Main, is one of the prospective buyers, Managing Partner John Schneider said. He had indicated an interest in the building last month.
Vision City wants to turn the bank building into a business incubator with room for 20 to 25 companies.
Capital One’s move means the bank is closer to being in a position to begin actively negotiating to sell its building.
Schneider said he could not disclose Vision City’s offer but the group has the financing to buy the building.
Beau Box Commercial Realtors is not listing the Capital One building, Pesnell said, but in his opinion, the building’s value falls in the $4 million to $5 million range.