Developers have broken ground for a 27-story office tower designed to accommodate up to 1,500 new employees of First Union Corp. in its hometown of Charlotte, N.C.

The sizable expansion is largely prompted by the company's aggressive growth plans for its capital markets and capital management areas, but the new building will house employees from many areas of the company, said Joseph A. Tronco, senior vice president of First Union's corporate real estate division.

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