VOL. 133 | NO. 137 | Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Bank of Bartlett Eyes An Expanded Footprint to Meet Consumer Demand
Bank of Bartlett will soon consolidate its two Germantown branches into one enhanced location at Poplar and Kirby, and is eyeing Midtown and Arlington as areas for additional brick-and-mortar branches.
The bank’s Village Square branch will merge with the Poplar and Kirby location, which is situated in the heart of one of Germantown’s smart-growth sectors.
“We look at it more as a merger and investment,” says Harold Byrd, Bank of Bartlett president. “From the very start of our banking industry in Memphis, we’ve had a really great niche all over the metro community.” According to Byrd, Bank of Bartlett was one of the first banks in the metro area to offer Saturday banking.
Bank of Bartlett president Harold Byrd in the bank’s Germantown branch, located at the corner of Poplar Avenue and Kirby Road. The bank plans to merge its nearby Village Square branch into the Poplar and Kirby location this fall. (Daily News/Houston Cofield)
With eight area branches to serve customers and more than 80 ATMs inside Memphis-area Walgreens, the bank is looking to expand its footprint into other areas. “We’re very jealous of the service that we give to our customers,” said Byrd, describing a customer-service experience he calls high touch and high feel. “Having said that, we realize that banking is totally different,” he adds, citing a 25 percent increase in online customer banking last year.
“Since 2009, the number of commercial bank branches has decreased nationally by 10 percent,” said Jana Green, Bank of Bartlett marketing manager. “Banks just in general are looking to meet customers where they are, and where they want to bank.”
The bank has spent the past year working on enhanced amenities at the Poplar and Kirby location, such as more staff to alleviate wait times, better lighting and cosmetic improvements. In addition, because the branch is situated in a smart-growth district, the bank can build up to eight stories without requesting a special permit.
“The area is pre-vitalized for a strategic redevelopment,” says Cameron Ross, City of Germantown’s economic and community development director. There are five key commercial areas within the city’s boundaries, three of which have smart code overlay. These overlays allow for a different mix of residential, commercial, and retail, and Bank of Bartlett’s Poplar and Kirby branch is located in the area with the most urban mix on the spectrum.
According to Ross, it’s up to the property owners to execute the spirit and intent of the design concepts. “We’re excited about (Bank of Bartlett) considering how they can work with smart-growth concepts, and within the smart code to execute that vision,” he says.
Also part of that district is the new mixed-use development, The TraVure. Developed by Gill Properties, the 150,000-square foot, five-story office building will house a luxury hotel, restaurants and retail and office space.
Part of TraVure’s office space will be occupied by Mid-America Apartment Communities, Inc. “That’s amazing to be right next door,” says Byrd of the bank’s future neighbors. “Germantown is a landlocked community. There’s just not a lot of open land available out there left to expand,” he adds, referencing the bank’s ability to build vertically.
“I think (the city of Germantown) wants to create a measured, thoughtful, controlled growth of business, and smart growth with residential development that’s woven into the smart growth plan,” said Mark Miesse, an attorney for Memphis Title Company.
As for Memphis Title Company’s relationship with Bank of Bartlett, Miesse sees them as a strong competitor in the Memphis banking community. “They’re very much into customer service and they do a great job,” he says. “There are a lot of good lenders around town, and certainly, Bank of Bartlett is one of them.”
“We’re trying to give our customers an even better service,” says Byrd of the bank’s online services, which include personal and business banking, and mortgage and credit card application. The bank also guarantees a quick response to a customer’s request for assistance. “Our motto is, ‘Within the hour.’”
In addition to their presence in the suburban areas of Shelby County, Bank of Bartlett also does business in North Mississippi and Downtown Memphis. “Our digital platform has allowed us to make loans all over Shelby County,” says Byrd. “Banking has totally changed, but yet it hasn’t. It’s the personal interactions that make the world go around.”