AgSouth Farm Credit held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new operations building late last month and nearly 200 members of the community came out to view the new building and grounds, including members of the Chamber of Commerce and county officials.
The 12,500-square-foot building is located on the site of the former Smith Warehouses at 20 East Vine Street and is a part of AgSouth’s new complex, which includes AgSouth’s current branch location of 40 South Main Street and the administrative office at 26 South Main. The new building houses 30 offices and a meeting room.
AgSouth worked with John Rule of DPR Architecture and John Lavender of Lavender & Associates, Inc., both of Statesboro, for the design and construction. Stacy Lanier with Lanier Millwork of Statesboro refurbished heart pine wood and brick original to the warehouse for the building’s floors and walls, which are highlighted by decorative ironworks throughout by local ironworker, John Cowart of Cowart Ironworks.
When the complex is complete, the three buildings will be joined by a green space area. The sidewalks are already in place, and completion of the grounds is scheduled for later this month. The entire complex encompasses nearly three acres downtown and is a focal point of the Blue Mile Project, which is revitalizing downtown Statesboro.
In addition to branch employees – who work directly with AgSouth’s customers - the complex houses all of the company’s executive staff as well as the accounting, legal, technology, secondary mortgage market and human resources departments.
According to CEO Pat Calhoun, “We’ve invested nearly $5 million in our new headquarters and have added approximately 20 jobs in Statesboro as we’ve consolidated our administrative offices and relocated our executive management. When you factor in the added payroll of these positions, we are putting approximately $6 million into the community each year, and we are continuing to grow. We are proud to be one of the most successful agricultural cooperatives in the Southeast and are very happy that we chose Statesboro as our home base.”
AgSouth Farm Credit provides loans for land, equipment and production agriculture; crop insurance; leasing; and home mortgages. The association serves 93 counties in South Carolina and Georgia and is headquartered in Statesboro.