Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bank of the Ozarks to open Cornelius branch Monday

Bank of the Ozarks on Monday will open its new Cornelius branch, the bank's second full-service branch in the Charlotte metropolitan area, said Cindy Wolfe, president for the bank's Charlotte region.

Construction began last year on the one-story branch, at 19811 W. Catawba Ave. It is opening 14 months after the Little Rock, Ark.-based lender opened its first full-service branch in the Charlotte area, at 4200 Park Road.

Wolfe said the Cornelius branch is 3,700 square feet. Tom Dutton, a Bank of the Ozarks commercial loan officer, will head the office, Wolfe said.

Last year, David Goodrum, owner of Cornelius-based J.D. Goodrum, which built the branch, said the construction value of the project is roughly $1.5 million.

The Cornelius branch is the latest addition to the bank's growing number of North Carolina branches.

Since the financial crisis, Bank of the Ozarks has snapped up failing banks and been one of the most active bidders for such institutions. In 2010, it acquired failed lender Woodlands Bank, of Bluffton, S.C. That deal gave the bank the Wilmington branch, its first full-service branch in North Carolina.

Before that, Bank of the Ozarks had a loan-production office in Charlotte since 2001. That loan-production office is now in the new Park Road branch.

Bank of the Ozarks further grew in North Carolina last year with its purchase of First National Bank of Shelby in July for $68.5 million. The deal gave Bank of the Ozarks branches in Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln and Rutherford counties.

Wolfe said Tuesday that the bank is considering opening more branches in the Charlotte region, but no locations have been determined.