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BB&T plans to hold a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for a $35 million new office in historic downtown Wilson, and everyone is invited.
“The city of Wilson has always been a special place for BB&T. As the birthplace of BB&T, Wilson will always be home for BB&T,” said Phil Marion, president for the bank’s southeastern North Carolina region. “We are delighted to provide development that will positively impact the community and help in the downtown revitalization efforts.”
The public is invited to a 2:30 p.m. ceremony at the corner of Broad and Pine streets where Marion, BB&T Processing Services Manager Steve Anderson and BB&T COO Chris Henson will join Mayor Bruce Rose and City Manager Grant Goings in celebrating the construction of a 95,000-square-foot facility for 550 of the bank’s 2,000 Wilson employees. Parking in a nearby lot and street parking will be available for ceremony attendees.
The plan was announced in August and the bulk of the site work began in December. The project shuttered the Paul V. Berry Hickory Grove Park, but several of the park’s trees are destined to be relocated in the dog park at Toisnot.
BB&T plans to keep the fountain at the corner of Kenan and Pine streets while adding additional green space near the development. During the regulatory process for the project, city officials have noted BB&T’s willingness to go above the minimum requirements for landscaping.
“It’s important that our associates have a place where they can go outside and have a break from their work environment,” Marion said. “We’re leaving the fountain and creating a walking space and strollway with trees and landscaping. As a downtown resident, we are hopeful that all who work in this area will take advantage of and enjoy this space.”
Marion said including more green space is part of the bank’s mission “to make the communities in which we work a better place to be.”
In February, BB&T and SunTrust Banks announced plans to merge under a new unknown name, but bank officials promised to honor BB&T’s legacy in Wilson.
“We know there are many (merger-related) questions and we’re still working through many of the specifics,” Marion said. “The deal was announced in February and the companies won’t legally come together until much later this year, pending regulatory and shareholder approvals. This is a long journey and we’ve got a lot of work to do with our new teammates over the next several months.
“...BB&T has been and will be committed to Wilson.”