BancorpSouth breaks ground on new four-story, 40,000 square foot office complex in west Little Rock
August 23-29, 2021
By Wesley Brown
The regional banking subsidiary of BancorpSouth Corp. on Tuesday held a ground-breaking ceremony for a new four-story, 40,000 square-foot to house the company’s BXS Insurance affiliate and a full-service bank branch with commercial lending, wealth management and mortgage operations.
During the brief event at 17900 Chenal Parkway in west Little Rock, BancorpSouth Northwest Region President Ty Warren said the new office complex shows the Tupelo, Miss.-based banking group’s commitment to Arkansas, including the Little Rock metropolitan area market.
“We want to make this community proud,” said Warren. “In effect, this (new office) will allow us to enhance the customer service experience by allowing us to provide all of these services at one Central Arkansas location.”
Following Warren, former NFL player Keith Jackson, founder and president of Little Rock’s Positive Atmosphere Reaches Kids (P.A.R.K.), shared his delight that BancorpSouth was setting up a new banking center in Central Arkansas as wells as the corporate office for BXS, one of the nation’s largest insurance networks licensed in all 50 states.
“We are making great growth, but we will remain a community bank, that is what is so great about us,” said Jackson, a BancorpSouth board director since 2007. “We will build new buildings, but we will always have down to earth people.”
Jackson added that he has seen tremendous growth over the past decade at BancorpSouth, which today has assets of more than $28 billion and operates 315 full-service branch locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas, as well as additional mortgage, insurance, and loan production offices.
In early August, BancorpSouth shareholders approved a $6 billion merger-of-equals with Houston-based Cadence Bancorporation. That deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021 and company officials anticipate full integration will take place in the second half of 2022.
Once the deal closes, the newly combined company
will operate under the name “Cadence Bank” and will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CADE”. The combined company will have dual headquarters in Tupelo and Houston. The regional banking powerhouse will also have additional operations centers in Tupelo and Birmingham, Ala., and specialty banking sites in Macon, Ga., Starkville, Miss., and Houston.
Rollins will continue as chairman and CEO of the combined regional banking giant and Cadence’s Paul Murphy will serve as executive chairman. The board of directors will initially be comprised of 20 directors – nine from Cadence and eleven from BancorpSouth, including Jackson.
“Every time we are in one of those big board meetings, we turn right to the Arkansas section, and as the (executives) are competing,” said Jackson. “There’s nine states that (BancorpSouth) is in and we are always competing and out front, and this building is just an example of what is happening going forward. We want to be part of the progress.”
Dave Meghreblian, vice president of real estate development for PotlatchDeltic, said the new BancorpSouth office building will anchor future development on the huge commercial property site overseeing Chenal Parkway. PotlatchDeltic is the Spokane, Wash.-based Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) that acquired El Dorado-based Deltic Timber for $3.3 billion deal three years ago.
Today, PotlatchDeltic still owns and operates the company’s Chenal Valley master planned communities that include both residential and commercial acreage. Over 350 acres in Chenal Valley are designated for commercial uses, anchored by the Promenade at Chenal, a 306,000 square foot open-air lifestyle shopping center. Nearby commercial uses include the St. Vincent medical complex, several medical offices, Bank OZK’s new $98 million headquarters, the new Costco Wholesale club, multifamily and senior living properties, retail stores and hotels.
Mike Halter, the Arkansas regional president for BXS Insurance, and Mayor Frank Scott Jr. also participating in the BancorpSouth groundbreaking, complete with gold shovels. Scott called the 30-minute ceremony at major economic development achievement for the city.
“It’s a great day,” exclaimed Scott. “Anytime you see dirt being move, that means progress is taking place. Economic development is a team sport, and we are grateful that BancorpSouth is moving to Little Rock and adding new jobs.”
BancorpSouth spokeswoman Candace Schilling would not disclose the regional banking group’s investment in the Little Rock project. However, she said the publicly traded Mississippi financial concern estimates more than 120 employees will move into the location once completed in the second quarter of 2022, with room to grow. No timetable has been set for the project to be completed.
“We’re proud to continue to make investments like this in Central Arkansas,” said Chris Locke, BancorpSouth president - North-Central Arkansas division. “This project is the latest example of our commitment to our communities and promise to be right where our customers need us to be on their financial journey.”
Locally, BancorpSouth currently has four branches in Little Rock, one in Conway and one in Hot Springs. There is also ongoing construction on another branch location on East Oak Street in Conway that is on track to be completed in November
“We are making a significant investment in the project and the community, but the details are not available at this time,” said Schilling.
1. Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. (center) participates at the groundbreaking ceremony with BancorpSouth executives and local chamber and business leaders for the company's new insurance and banking location in west Little Rock. (Photo by The Daily Record staff)
2.and 3. Two artist renderings provided by BancorpSouth show the bank's future Chenal Valley four-story, 40-story location and campus that will be further developed.