South Carolina-based Southern First Bank has decided to locate its first North Carolina branch in an office complex near the PNC Arena in West Raleigh.
Southern First, which announced in August that it was seeking a site for a full-service branch in Raleigh, recently announced that it will temporarily locate its branch at 5420 Wade Park Boulevard in the Wade I building. The bank’s permanent address ultimately will be on the first floor of the nearby Wade IV building, which is still being constructed.
Dominion Realty Partners began construction on Wade IV in the fall. The building is expected to be completed in late summer of 2017.
Southern First moved into Wade I at the beginning of December but is limited to operating a loan production office until it obtains the regulatory approvals required for a full-service branch, said Jonathan Taylor, executive vice president and Triangle market executive. Taylor, who previously was a senior vice president at Paragon Bank, is hopeful that regulators will give the green light for a full-service branch in late January or early February.
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Southern First previously operated a loan production office at Falls of Neuse Road in Raleigh. That office was opened in the summer.
Established in 1999, Southern First has nine branches in South Carolina and about $1.3 billion in assets. Its shares are traded on Nasdaq.
CEO Art Seaver said in an interview in August that Southern First decided to expand into the Triangle because the market is thriving and has experienced significant “banking disruption” triggered by a series of industry mergers and acquisitions in recent years.
Taylor said the new location is easily accessible to customers.
“We’re two blocks from (Interstate) 40,” he said. “The location in general is outstanding.”