Crestar seeking a new headquarters Loyola building doesn't fit image

Banking

March 01, 1996|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

Crestar Bank is shopping for a new home in Baltimore.

William C. Harris, chairman of Crestar Financial Corp.'s Maryland region, said the headquarters building it inherited when it acquired Loyola Capital Corp. two months ago, doesn't fit the company's image.

"It is just an old building," Mr. Harris said. "It doesn't really make the statement that we would like it to make as far as Crestar's arrival. It is just not in the financial district. We feel a full-service bank ideally should be somewhere else."

Mr. Harris said the five-story headquarters building, which is at 1300 N. Charles St. and still has Loyola Federal Savings & Loan Association engraved in its white granite, is not officially on the market. He said that company executives have had preliminary talks with brokers to see if the building would generate interest in the marketplace.

Mr. Harris said he has looked at three or four buildings downtown, but it wasn't a serious headquarters hunt. He declined to identify the buildings at which he looked.

He said that if he can't sell the Loyola building, which has 50,000 square feet of space and houses about 100 employees, he'll stay put.

"I'm too concerned about the bottom line to take on another building downtown," Mr. Harris said. "If we can't make it work financially in the next year, two years or three years, we are going to stay right here."

Mr. Harris said if "someone came in at close to the appraisal value, we'd consider it."

Richmond, Va.-based Crestar has $18.3 billion in assets and operates 377 offices in Virginia, Maryland and Washington.

Last May, it announced that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Loyola for about $260 million.

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