NEW BANK LEASES OLD PIZZA HUT
Posted on Sat, Jul. 10, 2004
FIRST AMERICA BANK
New bank leases old Pizza Hut
KURT D. SCHULTHEIS
Herald Staff Writer
BRADENTON - A vacant pizza parlor will transform into another new bank building on Manatee Avenue West.
First America Bank, a small start-up that opened its doors June 1, announced the signing of a ground lease for the property at 2811 Manatee Ave. W.
It is the site of a longtime dine-in Pizza Hut location, which closed its doors on March 15.
"It won't look like a Pizza Hut when we're done with it," said Dan Hager, chief executive officer and chairman of the board for First America.
In the coming months, the formerly red hut will turn into a 6,300-square-foot bank.
Hank Goldsby, president of First America Bank, believes the new building will be up and running by the first quarter of 2005.
"We plan on tearing down most of the existing structure," Goldsby said. "And we'll use the shell to create a state-of-the-art bank building."
The branch will have ATMs, a night drop and drive-through lanes.
The architect is finishing the plans, Goldsby said. "Then we can pick our contractor, start the permitting process and get to work."
The cost of the new building has yet to be determined, Goldsby said.
Open just longer than a month at its temporary location at 410 43rd St. W., First America has 160 account holders, with $7 million in deposits and $10 million in loans. "And we haven't started advertising yet," Goldsby said.
The bank has signed a land lease for a site in Osprey as well.
Once the branches are complete, Goldsby will head up the Osprey branch, while Hager takes over the Manatee County location.
First America plans to keep its temporary location as its operations center.
Derek Williams, financial adviser for Moseley Investment Management Inc. in Bradenton, said new community banks will continue to pop up in the area.
"The period of growth for small banks is ongoing," Williams said. "I think we will continue to see smaller banks with attention to customer service emerge to compete with the big boys."
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