Former AT&T City Center Skyscraper Gets New Owner
By Brent Godwin – Real Estate Editor, Birmingham Business Journal – Mar 15, 2018, 2:58pm CDT Updated Mar 15, 2018, 3:01pm
One of downtown Birmingham’s largest buildings has changed hands.
Public records show that The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Co. NA sold the AT&T City Center building at 600 19th St. N., to 600 North 19th Street LLC, an entity registered to an address in Stamford, Conn.
The price was $29.25 million for the 30-story tower that consists of nearly 700,000 square feet of vacant space.
“We are excited about the future of downtown Birmingham and the many possibilities presented by this unique building,” said a representative of the new owner in a statement. More information about the buyer in the deal was not immediately available.
The building is managed locally by Colliers International.
The statement said the building is architecturally significant and has been a fixture on the Birmingham skyline since 1972. The City Center building was originally designed by Kahn & Jacobs, Architects, who also contributed significantly to the skyline of New York City.
The transaction comes after AT&T’s longtime lease at the building officially expired this month. We reported last year that the company planned to move its remaining employees out of the tower and to the company’s office on Data Drive in Hoover.
The future of the building has been one of the biggest question marks in Birmingham’s commercial real estate community, as several other nearby large office towers are also trying to fill large chunks of vacant office space.
But several brokers have said having an entire building available could create opportunity for a business to significantly expand in the city center.
In June 2017, a marketing plan was launched for the building for an adaptive mixed-use plan that would include turning the top 18 floors of the building into a hotel and residential units and renaming it “Birmingham City Center.” Representatives of Berkadia, which was handling the marketing, did not immediately respond to a BBJ request for comment about the transaction.
Marketing materials for the building made available last year invited hotel and multifamily developers to transform the property into a mixed-use development.
The building, the third tallest in Birmingham, was built as headquarters of South Central Bell, then became BellSouth City Center in 1998 and AT&T City Center after an acquisition in 2006.