Regions Bank could be the tenant to anchor developer Tony Giarratana’s Signature Tower.
But the bank, which would take roughly 100,000 square feet, may also end up as the anchor for other office buildings on local drawing boards — including Alex Palmer’s West End Summit.
Giarratana said he could neither confirm nor deny that Regions has talked to him. The developer revealed recently that a bank had contacted him about Signature. A large office lease would likely give Giarratana enough commitments to begin building his 65-story tower.
Regions representatives also have talked to Eakin Partners about the developer’s plans to build a tower at 12th Avenue South and Demonbreun Street. Apparently, there isn’t a timetable for decision.
That’s likely because, like many other banks, Regions has been taking it on the chin with the mortgage industry debacle and slumping home sales. Its stock price ended Friday trading at just over $9 per share, $24 below its 52-week high.
First Tennessee Bank also has been looking around for new space as its parent company faces a similar big-picture situation. So developers may not be able to bank on the banks until the economy improves and banking industry’s financials improve.
A Regions move would leave the building that now bears its name with two big holes to fill: Bass Berry & Sims has signed on to fill 185,000 square feet at the Pinnacle at Symphony Place when that building opens in 2010.
On the flip side is Cigna Government Services, which has leased 35,000 square feet at Regions Center and could end up expanding there. The company also has 850 people in MetroCenter.
Cigna may become the typical tenant for the 34-year-old office tower across the street from City Hall. Brokers have said its space is becoming more suited for back-office tenants and the talk has been that the building needs a substantial update.