VOL. 113 | NO. 223 | Wednesday, November 24, 1999
By SUZANNE THOMPSON
Independent Bank to open
branch in East Memphis
By SUZANNE THOMPSON
The Daily News
Independent Bank, a local bank with headquarters at 5050 Poplar Ave., has nearly completed construction of its first branch office.
Construction costs are valued at $780,000, according to a building permit filed with the Shelby County Construction Code Enforcement office and compiled by the Daily News Online.
Located at 6209 Poplar Ave., in the space previously occupied by Federal Savings Bank, the first branch will feature an open design with lots of glass and few doors to provide maximum interaction between staff and customer, said Susan Stephenson, co-chairman of the bank.
The interior of the space, which contains about 3,700 square feet, was gutted when construction began in early October to make way for the new design, she said.
"We have a very open design, so its easy to make eye contact with everyone who works in the space. That way, people never feel they are pinned away in corners and that theres no one there to help them," Stephenson said.
A customer service station will be located near the branch entrance to ensure that customers are greeted upon entry.
"All of our branches will feature a customer service station as you walk in the door so we can greet folks within seconds of coming into our space," Stephenson said.
Televisions will be placed in proximity to the customer service areas, so bank patrons have something to keep them occupied if they have to wait.
The bank is owned and operated by Stephenson and another native Memphian, Chip Dudley, both former employees of Boatmens Bank.
The date of the bank opening will depend on how quickly construction can be completed, but officials hope to have the bank open at the end of December or beginning of January, Stephenson said.
All regulatory approvals for opening the branch has been granted by both the state of Tennessee and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., she said.
"We already have our regulatory approval, so as soon as its ready, well open the doors. So, construction will drive the final opening date," Stephenson said.