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Renovation gives bank a more classic image

Park Sterling Bank's remake of its SouthPark office lends a note of tradition to the two-year-old institution.

Bryan Kennedy III is pleased when people compliment him on Park Sterling Bank's “new” building on Morrison Boulevard near SouthPark mall.

Many passersby tell the bank's president and CEO they've just noticed the branch and ask when it was completed. They are surprised to learn it was built 17 years ago.

People are discovering the building today because Park Sterling spent roughly $600,000 to take the structure down to the interior studs and refurbish it inside and out.

Rounded columns and new roof and facade features enhance street presence and project a more classic financial institution image.

The old columns in front were square and the exterior paint color was darker.

Construction crews added more windows to brighten the first floor, reconfigured the teller area and converted a vault used as a conference room back to a true bank vault.

ESD Architecture did the design work, and Mann Builders was the general contractor.

Bank employees moved into the 4,700-square-foot, two-story building just over a month ago.

The location is the third for Park Sterling, which opened almost two years ago. It has an office in Wilmington and is headquartered at 1043 E. Morehead St. in the Morehead Corporate Plaza building.

Kennedy's relationship with Morehead Properties, the bank's landlord on Morehead, led it to the former Coastal Federal Credit Union building and 1-acre site at 6816 Morrison Blvd.

Morehead Properties broker Chris Moffat represented Park Sterling in a site search and spent about a year getting the additional location under contract – on a handshake deal with Coastal Federal.

The bank, which waited nearly a year for the credit union to find a new home and relocate, paid about $3.12 million for the building and land.

“Any big bank would have loved to get this building,” Moffat said. “We just got lucky.”

Kennedy is happy. Not only does the bank own a branch in SouthPark, it has enough office space on the second floor to accommodate more growth.

And as a bonus to SouthPark passersby, the antique pedestal clock outside the bank was restored to working order.

News on the banking side of the business has been positive, too.

In April, Park Sterling posted its first quarterly profit in its fifth full quarter of operation. Start-up banks typically take a couple of years to turn a profit because they need time to make revenue-producing loans.

Officials said the bank's assets totaled $290 million at the end of the quarter ending March 31.

Park Sterling focuses on business and commercial real estate customers as well as high-end retail clientele.

Doug Smith: 704-358-5174; dougsmith@charlotteobserver.com
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