Regions to leave Court Square, search begins for new bank

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's no secret to Regions Bank customers: the Commerce Street branch in Downtown Montgomery is closing November 21st.

The building used to house the bank's regional headquarters.  Now developers are doing what they can to bring business back to Court Square.

8 Commerce Street is one of the iconic buildings that makes up the city's skyline.  More than a century old, the structure has banking in its blood.

"It's been here on Court Square and been recognized as a bank for 100 years," explained Cindy Williamson, the building's property manager.

Williamson works with Sooner Management, the company that has owned the building for the past two years.

Regions Bank sold it but stayed on, leasing just the branch.  Now, that's closing.  The company is now moving employees to the branch at the base of the RSA Tower.

The consolidation means another piece of prime real estate is opening up in Downtown Montgomery.  Now, the hunt is on for another big bank to occupy that space.

Developers say one of the biggest perks for tenants is the advertising, namely the space for signage at the top of the building.

"This is the sign you see from the interstate. You can see the sign pretty much from all over town," Williamson said.

The push for a new bank has its promises.

"We actually have had several lookers and one pretty interested customer," Williamson explained.

It's all part of an effort to bring the area back.  Now that the city has plans for "One Court Square," Williamson says her building--complete with eating and event spaces--could be the anchor of another revitalization.

"We have a lot of foot traffic here now. We have a lot of condominiums in the area, and that's an important thing for new growth," Williamson said.

So far, so good.  Businesses are filling up the empty space in the old headquarters, enjoying their spot in a changing neighborhood.

"If you look around here you can see down to the riverboat, the whole nine yards from my office, it's wonderful for us," said Rod White, who just moved his consulting firm to the building on September 1st.

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