ST PAUL, MN-Even after all of the Wells Fargo signs go up onits top and the sides, the World Trade Center inDowntown St. Paul will still be called the World TradeCenter.

While the building’s new owner, Zeller Realty, isadamant that it will not change the name of thebuilding, that apparently doesn’t preclude them frominstalling all the signage, including a logo to beerected on top of the tower, proclaiming WellsFargo as its major tenant. The bank is leasing morethan 55,000 sf of space at the 470,000-sf tower, mostof it in retail space that is being converted tooffice space.

Businesses find value in having buildings namedafter them, or at least having their name up inletters on the tower tops, especially if your name isnew or new to the market, says George Rosenbaum,chairman of Leo J. Shapiro & Co., a Chicago-basedmarket research firm. “Getting your name out there on top of a buildingprobably does a lot more than taking out an ad,” hesays. “Bricks and mortar are especially important toinstitutions that hold your money, they want toappear substantial.”

Certainly that’s one reason why an electric utilitypaid an estimated $80 million to plunk its new name on”Xcel Energy Center,” the new professional hockeyarena in Downtown St. Paul. The marketers of space in the NCL tower are usingnaming rights as a carrot to attract a tenant to lease20,000 sf to 30,000 sf. The building recentlylost its namesake tenant when North Central Life wassold. Its operations are in process of being movedout.

But having your name erected on top or plastered onthe sides of a building isn’t always a positive. Take Minnesota Life. The life insurance company,which is now headquartered at 400 Robert St., recentlyhad workers to pry the name “Minnesota Mutual Center”off the building and is renaming it the 400Building. Across the street, the new building itrecently opened will be called the 401 Building. Itcan be easier to lease space if the address isn’t thename of a company, says Maggie Jensen, a spokeswomanfor St. Paul-based Minnesota Life.

Minnesota Life recently opened the 600,000-sf 401Building, and is willing to lease space in either ofits towers, depending on the interest of theprospective tenant.

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