It has been just about a year since the FDIC forced the closure of First Southern National Bank on South Main Street in Statesboro. Several months ago, the First Southern building was listed for sale by the FDIC, and local realtor Sam Dipolito was given the listing.
Recently the building went under contract for sale with a big "Under Contract" sign marking yet another milestone in a
difficult year post closure. I spoke with Dipolito, and he gave me some insight into the process that ultimately yielded the contract.
"As you may know, the city of Statesboro was very interested in the building, as was the county," he said. "We were presented with letters of intent by both parties."
At this time, Dipolito said he had also contacted other parties that he thought might be interested in the building, and that included Queensborough National Bank and Trust who ended up expressing an interest as well.
Dipolito said the FDIC instructed him to contact each of the interested parties and ask them to submit their final and best offer. Each one did, and Queensborough's offer was deemed the "winner" by the FDIC.
Even though Queensborough's office on South Zetterower Avenue is small by Statesboro bank standards, it is a bigger bank than many of you may realize.
Its headquarters are in Louisville, Ga., and it has 22 branches geographically dispersed from Augusta to Savannah, specifically in the counties of Bulloch, Burke, Candler, Chatham, Columbia, Emanuel, Jefferson, Jenkins, McDuffie, Richmond, Screven and Washington. As of June 30, 2011, the FDIC reports total deposits of the bank as $746,664,000.
Queensborough was founded in 1902 under the name First National Bank and Trust Company establishing itself as an independent bank. In 2006, the bank's name was changed to Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company to alleviate confusion with other banks as it expanded its branch offices into neighboring Georgia counties.
Now, it is making a big move in Statesboro to a very noticeable location. I have heard a lot of speculation about the branch's move to this much larger building, and a potential major expansion of its operations here in Statesboro. I guess time will answer that speculation.
While I am sure that both city and county officials are disappointed that their bids were not accepted, one less "For Sale" sign on South Main Street is a very good thing, and I, for one, am grateful that our local banking industry continues to show faith in the future of our marketplace with investments like the one Queensborough is making.
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