Blue Cross leaving Chapel Hill HQ for Durham
Posted May 31, 2013
Durham, N.C. — Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is leaving its iconic headquarters building in Chapel Hill, officials said Friday.
Lew Borman, a spokesman for the state's largest health insurer, said the company will unify its operations at its customer service campus on University Drive in Durham.
The company already owns six buildings at that site. On Friday, it purchased two vacant buildings there for $10 million, which he said is below their appraised value.
Borman said the consolidation is expected to save Blue Cross an estimated $2.5 million a year in operating and utility costs.
“This is an expensive building to operate," Borman said of the Chapel Hill headquarters, which features a towering sweep of steel and glass. “We’ve been reviewing our real estate portfolio for several years.”
The new site offers more efficient, flexible workspace and a walkable campus, he said.
“It’s a real opportunity, and we’ll be working with local officials on this building,” he said.
Employees at the Chapel Hill office will move to the Durham site in phases. The move should be complete by the end of 2014
Borman said the future of the headquarters building is uncertain at this point, but the company is working with Chapel Hill officials to find another tenant.
Aaron Nelson, president and chief executive of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, called the Blue Cross headquarters "an iconic building" that offers "a tremendous economic opportunity for Chapel Hill and the region."