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WINSTON-SALEM, NC-Two companies have signed leases to take a total of 21,000 sf of office space at American Financial Realty Trust’s Wachovia Center. The multi-year deals bring occupancy at the Downtown trophy to 70%.

In the first deal, Deutsche Bank signed a 10-year lease for 10,924 sf at the 535,000-sf property. The move will relocate approximately 40 employees from Downtown’s BB&T building in early December to the 24th floor of the Wachovia Center.

In the second deal, Noregon Systems, Inc., a custom software development company, signed a five-year lease for 9,975 sf at the 28-story property. Noregon will relocate approximately 30 employees from the suburbs to the 22nd floor of the Wachovia Center in mid-October.

For both deals, American Financial Realty’s brokerage team was led by Cindy Christopher of Meridian Realty. Tal Isbell with Jones Lang LaSalle represented Deutsche Bank. John Schultz, Jr. with Triad Commercial Properties, represented Noregon Systems, Inc. AFR declined to reveal the lease rates.

The two transactions bring the total year-to-date leasing at the property, located at 100 N. Main St., to approximately 33,000 sf, according to AFR. The leases also raise the occupancy at Wachovia Center to 70%, up from approximately 60% in May 2004 when AFR acquired it. Wachovia Center was one of a number of properties AFR acquired in a portfolio transaction with Wachovia Bank, explains Anthony J. DeFazio, director of public relations for AFR.

DeFazio adds that AFR and Meridian Realty, the property’s leasing agent, are aggressively marketing the site, with a focus on its prime location Downtown. “Together we have used a strategy of capitalizing on the increase draw of the downtown business district,” he tells GlobeSt.com “Occupancy is improving and vacancy is declining. There is a real Renaissance in Downtown.”

According to AFR, both Deutsche Bank and Noregon Systems selected Wachovia Center for its technologies and amenities designed to meet the needs of professional services firms. Amenities include a 16,500-sf cafeteria and outdoor dining area, fitness center, barber shop and shoe shine stand, as well as on-site dry cleaning and secure underground parking.

“Two leases this year were with companies moving from the suburbs to Downtown. They want first class real estate with high-end amenities so they get the greatest value for the money,” DeFazio says, adding Wachovia Center is the only trophy class high rise Downtown.

“We continue to be optimistic about the climate for commercial real estate in Winston-Salem,” he adds. “All indications point to the market gaining strength and we expect to ride the wave.”

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