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Bryan Bank & Trust to expand
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Bryan Bank and Trust has been a Richmond Hill landmark since 1989. A staple of Ford Avenue, Bryan Bank and Trust customers will soon have more banking options a little farther down Hwy. 17.

"We decided, as the Board of Directors for the Bryan Bank, that it was very important we expand our facility," Dell Keith, Bryan Bank and Trust president said. "And in our conversations with the holding company (Savannah Bancorp), they saw it as an opportunity as well to better utilize the piece of property we have over there."

"We’ve owned the Harris Trail property for several years and had not done anything, and decided that we really wanted to try and get something started," Keith said. "And then we started that conversation with the holding company, and they were looking at the opportunity of moving because their leasing downtown."

Savannah Bancorp is currently located in downtown Savannah, but it will be moving its operations center to the new Harris Trail location upon completion. Estimated for the fall of 2008, there will be a new 3,500-square-foot Bryan Bank and Trust branch as well as an 8,500-square-foot operations center for Savannah Bancorp.

"We have about 35 employees here, and when we open up that facility over there, we’re looking at six or seven additional employees at the bank," Keith said. The other positions will be filled by Savannah Bancorp.

Keith said this additional branch will provide an alternative site for better servicing his customers.

"The situation here is that traffic is getting no better, and it’s getting harder to get in to the bank," he said. "And this gives our customers some alternatives as to where they can get in and get out. And we continue to grow. As we grow, we’re going to have to have some additional space. We need that additional space to provide the kind of customer service we’re used to doing."

With the community growing, Bryan Bank and Trust intends to keep up and continue accommodating the residents of Richmond Hill.

"We’ve been here for 18 years this coming Dec., and the bank has grown tremendously," Jimmy Bursed, CEO of Bryan Bank and Trust, said. "With the growth of the community, we felt the need to expand our service area in Richmond Hill and provide more convenience for our customers."

Keith estimates that it will take approximately nine to 12 months to complete the new branch. Once established, the bank is already planning a "groundbreaking."

"We may even do another cookout over there, it was such a big success for us the other day," Keith said of the Bryan Bank and Trust’s Summerfest on July 21. "I was extremely pleased and excited about the turnout that we had at that."

As far as what else the bank has planned for the future, there has been talk of another branch going up near Publix.

"We’re working on that as we speak," Keith said. "We have signed a contract on the property down there, and we’re actively looking at designing a building for that piece of property."

"We’re in a great location, and the community continues to grow – we feel like we need to grow with it. We’re excited about that," Keith concluded.

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