Legacy National Bank entering Bentonville market with Walton Boulevard branch

by Paul Gatling (pgatling@nwabj.com) 375 views 

Legacy National Bank of Springdale has purchased two acres for $2 million in Bentonville with plans to build the institution’s sixth banking center in Northwest Arkansas.

According to a deed filed Nov. 30 at the Benton County Courthouse, LNB paid $2 million for 2 acres at the southwest corner of Walton Boulevard and Southwest 28th Street. The property at 2904 S. Walton belonged to the Elizabeth A. Bolte Trust. The site is catty corner from Tractor Supply Co. and includes a 2,680-square-foot residence.

Bank President and CEO Don Gibson said the home will be razed and the site developed as the bank’s sixth banking center, joining others in Springdale (3), Fayetteville and Rogers.

“The momentum all over Northwest Arkansas is strong and really vibrant, but the epicenter for that right now is in Bentonville,” Gibson said. “They have done a remarkable job with the downtown area, you have the engine of Wal-Mart and all the support from the vendor community. You can go through a litany of things that are happening there. There are great things happening in Springdale, too, and Fayetteville and Rogers, but if you are going to serve the Northwest Arkansas community and not be a part of the Bentonville community, then you’d be sitting on the bench and we don’t want to do that.”

Construction is several months away. Gibson said the bank won’t officially take possession of the property until the end of February, and it has yet to make a formal application to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) seeking permission to establish a new branch. He said he is “optimistic” the banking center would be built by late 2017 or early 2018.

Gibson said Fayetteville architectural firm Ken Shireman & Associates is working on the building design, which will be similar to the bank’s 6,000-square-foot banking center on Joyce Boulevard in Fayetteville that opened in 2013, and a Rogers branch that opened on Pauline Whitaker Parkway in 2014.

As of Sept. 30, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the bank had assets totaling $400.4 million — up 19% from the same period in 2015 — and deposits totaling $335.4 million.

Bentonville is a popular spot for growth in the banking industry. According to the FDIC, 15 lenders have at least one retail branch office in Bentonville. That number will increase by two in early 2017. Booneville-based First Western Bank and First National Bank of NWA, a division of First National Bank of Fort Smith, are in the midst of building their first branches in the city — First Western on Walton Boulevard and FNBNWA a few blocks south of the downtown square.

United Bank is also planning its entry into the market. The Springdale-based bank acquired a 3.11-acre site at the corner of Arkansas Highway 102 and Been Road, and is expected to begin construction next year.