BY GLENN PUIT email@example.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City State Bank has a new look and feel downtown, not to mention a lot more office space.
The community bank, with nearly $200 million in assets, opened its new headquarters and downtown branch at 333 W. Grandview Parkway this week. Bank leaders said significant growth prompted the move to an 18,000-square foot office space from its prior location on West Front Street.
“The new location was the perfect opportunity for us,” said Ann Bollinger, president and chief financial officer. “We are in the whole first floor and almost all of the second floor. It has a much nicer work flow, and we’ve done a bit of a build-out.”
Bank executives said they also wanted their customers and employees to have an easier time getting in and out of the bank’s downtown branch. The bank’s prior downtown location on West Front often required customers and employers to dart back and forth through traffic.
The new location has drive-in parking accessible from either Grandview Parkway or West Front.
“You can park right at the entrance and walk in,” said Marc Judge, vice president of client services.
The new digs symbolize better days at Traverse City State Bank, considering the financial sector’s rough and tumble times over the past few years. Like other banks in the region, Traverse City State Bank went through a rough patch during the Great Recession. The bank lost $3.3 million in 2008 and, in 2009, dropped another $1.8 million, primarily thanks to troubles in its commercial loan sector. Bollinger said the bank lost nearly $2 million in investments with the collapse of the Wall Street investment house Lehman Bros.
“At the time, no one in the world would have guessed it would fail,” Bollinger said. “We weren’t alone.”
Things have since turned around in a big way. The bank reported a $400,000 profit in 2011 and, in 2012, turned a $1.5 million profit. Similar results are expected this year.
Perhaps more telling, though, are the bank’s loan growth numbers. The bank listed $133 million in loans as of November 2012. Through October 2013 the loan volume reached approximately $175 million, constituting a 32 percent increase.
“We are small and growing pretty fast,” Bollinger said.
“Largely, it’s the marketplace that is selecting us,” Judge said.
Better numbers translate into a jobs spike in the community. The bank now employs nearly 100 people and serves all of the five-county Grand Traverse region.
“We’ve added 19 people just in 2013,” Bollinger said. “Our growth has enabled us to provide opportunities for others.”