TowneBank and CHKD buy Norfolk Southern building in downtown Norfolk


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A year and half after Norfolk Southern announced it was moving its corporate headquarters to Atlanta, the company’s building in downtown Norfolk finally has new owners.

Townebank and Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters officially announced Wednesday morning that their deal to buy the tower was finalized. The acquisition closed on June 23 and also includes the Commercial Place parking garage at 520 East Main Street.

The two major employers in Hampton Roads will share the building jointly when Norfolk Southern leaves at the end of its lease in 2021. The company is still in the process of moving its staff, which will continue to occupy several floors of the building in the meantime.

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“TowneBank and CHKD are both respected corporate citizens and assets to our community,” said Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander in a press released announcing the deal. “Their significant investment reinforces Norfolk’s downtown as the urban employment hub of the region.”

Nearly 900 people in total will eventually work in the tower at 3 Commercial Place, with about 400 from TowneBank and 475 from CHKD.

The Norfolk Southern tower location brings the company’s financial services wing (TowneBank Mortgage, Towne Insurance and Towne Benefits) together under one roof.

TowneBank’s headquarters will still remain in the Harbour View area of Suffolk, with its Norfolk main office and corporate banking group remaining at their locations as well.

The company looked at multiple locations in Hampton Roads, but the “iconic building was too good to pass up,” TowneBank Chairman G. Robert Aston, Jr. said.

CHKD’s part of the building will house information services, patient financial services, human resources and health system administration employees.

“This opportunity allows us to move office functions out of our on-campus clinical buildings so that we can repurpose those spaces to better serve the children of our community,” said CHKD President and CEO Jim Dahling. “The decision to jointly own this building represents the most time-sensitive and cost-effective solution to critical space shortages for both our patients and our staff, including expediting our ability to bring much-needed mental health services to children in advance of the opening of our new mental health hospital and outpatient services tower in 2022.”

TowneBank will also donate the net proceeds of Norfolk Southern’s lease payments through 2021 to fund that new $224 million mental health hospital.

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