Foothills Bank & Trust in Organization buys property, plans spring opening

Foothills Bank and Trust in Organization on Friday morning bought two acres of property near Foothills Mall. The organizational team plans to open temporarily in the mall in late spring and open a new building in 18 to 20 months. They also hope to open a branch in Knoxville.

In organization, the bank has kept a local base. According to a press release, 97 percent of the shareholders who invested live within 25 miles of the bank.

According to CEO and Chairman Nick McGuire, everything regarding the bank's plans for opening is pending regulatory approval from the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions.

The property is on Keller Lane between Matlock Tire and the Social Security building behind Walgreen’s and near the BB&T building. "We’re thrilled to death," said Melissa Hodges, senior vice president. "That’s the hot side of town with all the growth. It’s a huge day."

Plans are to employ between 15 and 20 people when the bank opens, Hodges said. She added that the shareholders, many of whom are Blount County residents, were very excited about the bank.

Hodges and McGuire worked with the Home Bank of Tennessee before deciding to start Foothills Bank and Trust in Organization. The Home Bank bought and sold 15 acres where the post office, Matlock Tire, Walgreen’s and the Social Security buildings were constructed. The two acres Foothills Bank and Trust in Organization bought were the last tracts left.

McGuire said the property is a great location situated on the "runway" between the No. 1 retail and the No. 1 residential area in the county. "The No. 1 retail is Wal-Mart, and the No. 1 residential is West Maryville," McGuire said. "The four-lane road (Foothills Mall Drive) connects US 411 (West Broadway Avenue) coming into Maryville, connects 321 (West Lamar Alexander Parkway), goes all the way to US 129. It’s a main thoroughfare of the city.
"I look at that as the runway between the residential and retail draws," said McGuire.

McGuire said the team was enthusiastic about their new purchase, which they closed on Friday morning. "We’re just really excited. You’re located by the post office and the Social Security Office. Those are two great draws," he said.

McGuire said they looked to build on several different pieces of property, but chose this one. Another plus for the property is that when customers pull in and out of the parking lot, they won’t be pulling directly onto Foothills Mall Drive.

"The beauty is it is one block off the congestion," he said.

McGuire said they have hired Knoxville architectural firm Lindsey Maples to design the structure. Glen Lindsey, one of the architects, graduated Maryville High School, McGuire said.

"Lindsey Maples has done a tremendous number of bank buildings," McGuire said. "I’m delighted they’re working with us."

McGuire said it will take time to get the structure designed, approved and built. The entire process will take between 18 and 24 months to complete, he said.

"Meanwhile, we’ll open in the mall. We’re at the mercy of the regulators. All of our work has been turned in," he said.

McGuire said they will move out of their organizational offices in the Law Building on South Washington Street and hopefully will open in June at the mall, pending regulatory approval.

McGuire said it usually takes between 12 and 14 months for a bank in organization to get a charter. The founding officers of the Foothills Bank and Trust in Organization, McGuire, Hodges and Executive Vice President Mark Loudermilk started working in April to lay the groundwork for raising the bank’s capital.

SAMCO Capital Markets, Inc., Bank Development Group assisted Foothills Bank and Trust in Organization in raising more than $19 million, surpassing their original goal of $15 million. SAMCO BDG managing director Lee Bradley made the announcement in a press release.

"We were privileged to be able to work with such a great group of organizers in their initial offering," Bradley said. "Their local market showed a need for a locally-managed community bank and the end result demonstrated a tremendous support from the people in the Maryville community. The final tally showed 97 percent of the shareholders are locally-based, living within a 25-mile radius."

Derek Cunningham, SAMCO BDG senior vice president, was the on-site consultant and worked with McGuire, who previously held the same position of CEO and chairman at the Home Bank of Tennessee, which was recently bought by BB&T, and President Rick Shepard, formerly of The Home Bank and SunTrust.

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