Wells Fargo sells West Des Moines office building, moves employees to Jordan Creek


As Wells Fargo continue its contraction in the Des Moines metro, it has sold one of its West Des Moines office buildings.

WB Realty Co., a Central Iowa commercial and residential brokerage, purchased the six-story structure and its 600-space parking lot at 7001 Westown Parkway. The price of the property, valued by the Dallas County Assessor’s Office at just over $73 million, was not immediately disclosed.

The 425,636-square-foot building was constructed in 2000. It has a fully equipped gym, a business conference center and a 36,000-square-foot data center located beneath the parking lot. Dallas County assessor’s records show the deed transferred on Dec. 29.

Michael J. Slusark, a spokesman for Wells Fargo, declined to comment, other than to confirm the sale.

More: Wells Fargo has long ruled as the Des Moines metro’s largest employer. It’s king no longer.

According to WB Realty Co. owner Ryan Wiederstein, the property is now the largest available office space in a single building in the Des Moines metro’s western suburban market. WB Realty is prepared to break up the space, saying in a news release that leasing options will range from 4,000 square feet to the full building.

“As WB Realty Co. expands its commercial real estate portfolio, this acquisition marks a significant milestone in our journey,” Wiederstein said.

Costar Market Analysis projects new office construction from 2024 to 2027 to remain low, a fact that WB Realty believes could push businesses towards existing vacant spaces. The firm also is exploring adding more unique amenities including indoor pickleball courts, golf simulators and a public restaurant to help future tenants attract and retain employees.

Ryan Moffatt, West Des Moines’ community and economic development director, anticipates the building being converted to house multiple tenants. He added that modernizing the building with added amenities will make it more competive in the market.

“That’s going to take some reinvestment back in the building,” said Moffatt. “It’s probably going to take a while to fill that building.”

Employees were alerted to move in November

Wells Fargo first announced in January that it would move most of its downtown Des Moines employees to its 160-acre Jordan Creek campus. At the time, its decision effectively ended incentive contracts with the city for the downtown properties, forgoing $3.7 million in payments.

Employees at the Westtown building, headquarters of the San Francisco-based bank’s home mortgage division. were alerted in early November that they, too, would be moving to Jordan Creek by Dec. 15.

The Jordan Creek campus is large enough to house every Wells Fargo worker in the Des Moines metro. The total is now down to 11,000 employees from a 2017 high of about 14,500 as the company has faced combined headwinds, including a contraction of the mortgage market amid rising interest rates.

West Des Moines-based Hy-Vee, with about 12,000 metro Des Moines workers, has supplanted Wells Fargo as the area’s largest employer.

Addison Lathers covers growth and development for the Des Moines metro. Reach her at ALathers@registermedia.com and follow her on Twitter at @addisonlathers.



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