BB&T plans consolidated office

Published 9:16 am Saturday, May 29, 2010

FRANKLIN—BB&T plans to start building a new facility on College Drive in the fall and eventually consolidate its Franklin operations by closing the branch in downtown Franklin.

“We’re really excited about what we’re planning in the Franklin community,” BB&T spokeswoman Cameron Jordan said Friday. “We feel like we can better meet our clients’ needs for years to come if we build a new state-of-the-art financial center.”

Jordan said plans for the new facility are being finalized and that it’s not known if the bank’s existing building at 201 N. College Drive will be remodeled or demolished.

“We’re making plans for that right now,” Jordan said. “We’re trying to work out if we need to demolish the building and rebuild from the ground up or if we can remodel it.”

According to Jordan, BB&T, which is based in Winston-Salem, N.C., will temporarily close the College Drive branch in the fall and move accounts and employees to its branch in downtown Franklin, located at 100 E. Fourth Ave.

“No jobs will be lost in this,” Jordan said. She did not say how many employees would be affected by the move.

Construction of the new College Drive branch should be completed by the spring of 2011. Jordan said BB&T would then move all of its accounts and employees from the downtown Franklin branch to the new facility.

The downtown branch will be closed. Jordan said no plans have been made for the building.

“I would be sad to see them leave downtown, but on the other hand I’m glad they’re not leaving Franklin,” Teresa Beale, executive director of the Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce, said Thursday.

Dan Howe, manager of the Downtown Franklin Association, said BB&T is a longtime, strong supporter of the community, and he expects that support to continue even when the downtown branch is closed.

“They’re a vital part of the downtown, and I certainly don’t want to lose them,” Howe said Thursday. “But I don’t know how busy that branch is. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were looking to streamline.”

Jordan said BB&T clients would be notified of the changes in June. The bank will also publish a legal notice announcing that it has made an application with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. asking for permission to relocate its downtown branch to College Drive.

BB&T closed branches in Ivor and Holland in November 2008. Accounts and employees from those branches were transferred to BB&Ts in Wakefield and downtown Suffolk, respectively.