BANGOR, Maine — Bangor Savings Bank purchased a building at 20 South St. on Wednesday as part of a multimillion dollar plan to eventually relocate about 350 Bangor-area workers to a headquarters campus on Bangor’s waterfront.
Bank officials declined to disclose the purchase price for the building and two adjoining lots. Officials at the Penobscot County Registry of Deeds said they hadn’t received the deed transfer paperwork as of 3 p.m. Wednesday.
The bank plans to vacate and sell its present headquarters at 99 Franklin St. over the next 18 months. Bangor Savings Bank hopes to have the South Street building renovated and begin moving in sometime in February or March 2018, bank President and CEO Bob Montgomery-Rice said.
Bank officials are reviewing options for its employees and two corporate offices at 203 and 19 Maine Ave., according to Carol Colson, a senior vice president of marketing and community relations at Bangor Savings Bank.
The relocation underlines the bank’s 165-year history in Bangor and the city’s hopeful future.
The relocation’s greatest benefit to Bangor, Montgomery-Rice said, is the eventual creation of new jobs.
“There is a renaissance going on in Bangor these last several years,” Montgomery-Rice said during a press conference Wednesday at the Franklin Street headquarters. “We have been growing dramatically over the last several years, so things are really getting constrained” by a lack of space in the bank’s corporate buildings.
“Bangor’s waterfront area has truly become a jewel for the city, and we believe it is the perfect location for a new” campus, Montgomery-Rice said. “Investing in the downtown area was important to us.”
Bangor Chairman Joe Baldacci said he was pleased at Bangor Savings Bank’s choice of locations.
“The mix of uses and commercial nature of the waterfront just highlights Bangor as an economic hub. This is an excellent use of that space and being right there on the Penobscot River is good advertising for the bank,” Baldacci said.
The plan will consolidate Bangor Savings Bank facilities in Bangor as a first step toward expanding the company’s roster of about 800 workers statewide. The bank has added about 60 new jobs to Bangor in the last five years, Colson and Montgomery-Rice said.
The bank anticipates more growth in the next 15 years. The expansion onto South Street includes plans to construct two or three buildings at that site for the bank, which has close to 200,000 customers, officials said.
For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016, the bank posted an earned net income of $23.01 million, an increase of $640,000, or 2.86 percent, over the previous year. The bank, which earned “well-capitalized” ratings by its regulators, saw its assets grow to $3.32 billion, or by 5.23 percent, over 2015, according to its 2016 annual report.
At year’s end, nonperforming loans averaged 0.46 percent of the bank’s portfolio, compared with Maine peer bank nonperforming loan averages of 0.93 percent and a national peer bank nonperforming average of 1.09 percent. The bank financed 16 community redevelopment projects totaling $38 million in 2016, according to its annual report. It has more than $2.5 billion in trust, fiduciary and investment assets, the most of any Maine bank, the report states.
City officials have worked closely with Bangor Savings Bank on the relocation and expansion effort for several months, Baldacci said.
Tanya Emery, the city’s director of community and economic development, said she didn’t anticipate Bangor Savings Bank having much trouble finding a new tenant for Franklin Street.
“It’s a beautiful building, impeccably maintained, in a good location,” she said.
According to city records, the land and four-story building at 20 South St. has an assessed value of about $1.8 million. It was built in 1920, renovated in 1991 and is 20,877 square feet. Its previous owner was developer Larry Springer, who bought the former Muddy Rudder restaurant in Brewer in 2011.