Feb 19, 2024 - Business

Wells Fargo's massive new skyscraper signs will change Charlotte's skyline

Wells Fargo tower in uptown charlotte at sunset

Photo: Andy Weber/Axios

Wells Fargo will soon beat Truist for hanging the largest sign in Uptown.

Driving the news: Charlotte City Council on Monday night unanimously approved a rezoning for two huge signs on top of 550 South Tryon St., also known as the former Duke Energy Center or the giant martini glass.

Why it matters: Displaying flashy logos atop skyscrapers can be a touchy subject, as residents feel pride and ownership over the skyline and its architecture.

  • During the rezoning process, some have likened a skyline crowded with corporate logos to a CVS aisle or Tokyo.

Yes, but: Wells Fargo, one of the city's largest employers, rightfully owns the building.

Wells Fargo site plan
Site plans: Wells Fargo/City of Charlotte

Details: The two signs will read "Wells Fargo" and span 1,880 square feet on the building's "handlebar."

  • By comparison, the rectangular Truist sign atop the bank's North Tryon tower is about 980 square feet.
  • Honeywell's sign at its Legacy Union headquarters is approximately 350 square feet.

By the numbers: The Wells Fargo letters are 14 feet tall, the same as Truist's. It's worth noting the scale of the building. 550 South Tryon St. is the second tallest skyscraper in Uptown and tops 786 feet, compared to Truist's 659 feet.

What they're saying: While there was much critical chatter online, no one spoke at the rezoning public hearing or submitted formal opposition comments.

  • During one meeting, council member Dimple Ajmera even remarked that the quietness seemed "rare" since there was so much backlash over the Truist sign.
  • The city's zoning committee voted 5-2 to deny the petition, fearing it would set a precedent for larger and larger sign requests. But city council is not bound to their advice.

The other side: City staff gave elected leaders their blessing to approve the sign. In planning documents, they wrote it would "make the Tryon Street corridor a distinctive destination by increasing visual interest along the street."

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