A tip of the hat to Chuck Morgan and Relyance Bank. In our White Hall Journal in Wednesday's edition, we got an update on the bank's plans for relocating its headquarters to White Hall.
Pine Bluff National Bank, or PBNB as it was called, has been a fixture on Cherry Street for five and a half decades. The bank has continued to grow, so staying at the same spot has taken some effort. There have been upgrades and add-ons and redos, but the bank's progress finally required something different and new.
That's a good problem to have. As Morgan, the bank's president and CEO, said, the company's assets are now at the $1 billion mark and the number of employees is at 200.
"From this original location, we have increased the size of our facility with multiple building projects over the past 30 years," he said. "We have outgrown our present facility."
This is just the latest iteration of the bank, as it has been eyeing the future at least since 2013 when it changed its name to Relyance Bank. That change updated the bank's image and set the stage for expansion into a number of communities, including Star City, Fordyce, Sheridan and Little Rock.
Speaking of Little Rock, Morgan said the bank's board has been considering the move into a new headquarters for a decade but has been more about expanding into the capital city market than starting construction. Spoken like a true banker.
But now the architects are busy and plans are being drawn up, and in close to two years, Relyance Bank will be occupying its new $15 million, 40,000-square-foot building on Arkansas 270 just west of the Interstate 530 interchange. And to prepare for additional growth, the new building will only be at about 70% occupancy when the doors open.
No matter the name of the bank, one thing that has been a mainstay is Morgan's insistence on supporting the Pine Bluff community, and he said that would not change with its move next door.
We draw your attention to the recent announcement from Habitat for Humanity in which it opened yet another house in Pine Bluff. As evidence of Morgan's assurance that his bank would continue its commitment to local causes, it was Relyance Bank that paid for the new house, which was no small check to write.
As Morgan said: "Although we will be moving from our present downtown location, we remain fully committed to this community in which we have deep roots. We will continue to strongly serve our community."
Yes, deep roots and strong ones. Congratulations, Mr. Morgan and Relyance Bank on your continued growth and for the example you have set for being a good corporate citizen. We will miss you on Cherry Street, but you're just up the road.