Category Archives: Banks

Bank of America slashes space at namesake building, plans to close banking center

UPDATED — Bank of America Center’s namesake tenant is significantly reducing its size at the building at Douglas and Broadway.

“That’s just one of the many they’re downsizing,” says Chris Ruffin, director of real estate for his father’s Ruffin Properties.

“It’s kind of sad since they’ve been such a longtime tenant. They’re a great tenant.”

Bank of America building in downtown Wichita.  (Oct. 9, 2012.)The North Carolina-based bank has been cutting costs and eliminating thousands of jobs over the past few years.

Currently, Bank of America has 50,000 square feet at its downtown Wichita headquarters.

“They’re cutting down to about 12,000 square feet and giving … us back the second floor,” says Phil Ruffin, who owns the building. “That’s how far we’ve gotten so far.”

The bank’s lease expires Dec. 31.

“We have been reviewing all of our corporate real estate needs across the country over the last several years,” bank spokeswoman Diane Wagner said in an e-mail.

“We have identified some areas that will allow us to become more efficient and are working to reduce the space we have to fit the needs of our businesses. In Wichita, this means we are reducing our space in the 100 N. Broadway location . . . . We do plan to continue to have some offices in the building, but can’t share any further details at this time.”

Wagner does confirm, though, that Bank of America’s retail banking center will close.

“As it relates to our banking center, after careful consideration, we have chosen to close the banking center at 100 N. Broadway as we will consolidate and serve our banking center customers’ needs from our nearby Mid Towne Center facility at 411 S Topeka St.,” Wagner wrote. “This consolidation into our motor bank building will require significant investment in the facility and demonstrates our commitment in the downtown district for Wichita.”

“It’s beautiful space,” Phil Ruffin says. “There’s no space like it in Wichita, I can tell you that.”

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Medical Community Credit Union to move to former Garden Plain State Bank space

UPDATED — A former bank no doubt is a better home for a credit union than a former doctor’s office, and that’s why Medical Community Credit Union is moving.

President and CEO Larry Schmitz says the credit union will be moving to “a true retail banking facility” where Garden Plain State Bank used to be at 1400 S. Oliver next to the Parklane Shopping Center.

Visibility and accessibility are the top reasons for the move, Schmitz says.

“It also gives us the opportunity to potentially have an ATM location.”

There will be a drive-through as well.

Currently, he says that “people have to get out of their car and walk in.”

There will be other new services that the new site will have as well, such as safe deposit boxes that are already there.

“We also don’t have a vault like that building does,” Schmitz says.

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You don’t say

“I learned to talk in soundbites for all the wrong reasons.”

Equity Bank president and CEO Brad Elliott on years ago learning to talk in simple sentences in order to get the right message across in television interviews

You don’t say

“We have $19 million to lend, and we’d love to lend it to you. Press 3 for loans now.”

— A message on the voicemail of the west branch of the Wichita Federal Credit Union

You don’t say

“I think he’s been in the kitchen all day.”

Chamber Honors Night emcee Jon Rolph on John Clevenger of Commerce Bank, which sponsored the dessert reception after the awards

OneMain Financial changing South Seneca addresses to Tuscan Village

WICHITA — OneMain Financial, a consumer finance company that is part of New York-based Citigroup, is going to be more than doubling the size of its south Wichita branch.

The branch, which mainly does personal loans, has been at 2561 S. Seneca in the Westway Shopping Center since 1995. It has about 1,500 square feet there.

The new office, which opens next month, will be in 3,600 square feet at Tuscan Village at 1812 S. Seneca.

“It’s just a relocation to a new office because they needed more space,” says Mark Rodgers, director of public affairs for Citi, the consumer division of the company.

Scott Harper of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

You don’t say

“I have no such servitude.”

Fidelity Financial Corp. president Clay Bastian’s response when a caller was surprised to get him on the phone instead of a secretary

Despite verbiage in legal filing, Community Bank of Wichita is not selling

WICHITA — Steve Carr knew before he even looked at the paper this morning that he’d have some questions to answer.

There’s a legal notice in today’s paper that makes it appear that theater owner Bill Warren and lawyers Mark and Andrew Hutton are buying Community State Bancshares, parent company of Community Bank of Wichita, but that’s not the case.

“Nothing’s really changing,” says Carr, chairman and president. “The bank isn’t being sold.”

The bank is buying back stock from some stockholders, one of whom died and one of whom got divorced, and was forced to do a public notice about it.

“It’s a totally regulatory deal,” Carr says.

It’s one that he didn’t expect, either.

“We said, ‘Really? Seriously?’” upon learning there would have to be a notice.

The legal filing says Luxury Development Partners intends to apply for permission to get control of the bank, “and, thus, to become a bank holding company.”

Warren and the Huttons are owners of Luxury Development.

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BNC National Bank to move west-side office

UPDATED — BNC National Bank is moving its west-side branch from 7200 W. 13th St. to the campus near 29th and Ridge where J.P. Weigand & Sons has its west-side residential office.

“I outgrew the space,” branch manager J.R. Rohr says of the 3,800 square feet he has at 13th Street.

The new space, which is in the east building on the campus, has 5,200 square feet.

“We’re hoping to be moved in by the beginning of the year,” Rohr says.

Remodeling the new space will take about eight weeks once the lease is done.

“We’re still working out some details on the lease,” Rohr says.

Weigand’s Patrick Ritchie and Leisa Lowry are handling the deal.

The Bismarck, N.D.-based BNC, which handles only residential mortgages in Wichita, has three branches here.

In addition to the west-side branch, one is inside Andover State Bank at the Waterfront, and another is within the Andover State Bank in Andover.

Rohr says finding good west-side office space can be a challenge since much of the available space is for retail.

“Having real, true office space in west Wichita is a big plus for me,” he says.

Rohr likes the access to K-96.

“I feel that part of Wichita … is growing right now,” he says. “There’s all kinds of businesses up there. It’s close to NewMarket Square.”

Rohr says he’s looking to add three or four loan officers. He doesn’t have any other changes planned.

“There’s been talk about … maybe expanding in the Derby market,” Rohr says. “That thought has just been brought up. I haven’t really got too far into that yet.

“This is it for right now.”

Wink Hartman Sr. to open a Vintage Bank Kansas branch in his east-side office

UPDATED — Having your own bank is convenient. Having it in the building where you office is even handier.

Just ask Wink Hartman Sr.

“We’re putting a Vintage Bank branch in the Hartman office building,” he says of his building at 10500 E. Berkeley Square Parkway.

“This will be our foray into the Wichita market,” Hartman says. “The business model we’re going after will be small-to-medium-size businesses, hopefully being able to furnish them the capital to grow.”

The bank’s first and only other branch is in Leon.

Hartman bought the State Bank of Leon in 2010 and changed the name to Vintage Bank Kansas in 2011.

Earlier this year, Hartman formed the Vintage Bancorp holding company and entered into a stock purchase agreement with Cornerstone Alliance, a holding company for CornerBank in Winfield.

In the end, the deal didn’t happen.

Vintage Bank has $15 million in assets.

“Which means we are so itty-bitty,” Hartman says. “That’s why we’re trying to grow.”

He says there will be additional capital to increase the bank’s lending capability with the new branch, but he’s not sure how much.

Arrangements for the new branch aren’t finalized yet.

“We anticipate the final approval will be in the next 30 days,” Hartman says. “Hopefully, it will be under construction late this year.”

He says he won’t concentrate on further expansion until the new branch opens and he gets it “on a solid footing, and then we’ll decide what the market and economy will allow.”