Cornerstone Bank sets groundbreaking for permanent Harrison location

by Paul Gatling (pgatling@nwabj.com) 114 views 

Eureka Springs-based Cornerstone Bank will break ground Sept. 15 on a permanent banking center in Harrison. The project site is at 1426 Highway 65, across from a Walmart Supercenter.

The new building will replace Cornerstone’s temporary office in Harrison, which opened nearby earlier this year.

“We are excited to begin construction on our highly anticipated project in Harrison,” Cornerstone President and CEO Charlie Cross said in a news release. “The reception we have received thus far from the community since opening our temporary location has been encouraging; however, we look forward to construction of this new state-of-the-art banking facility where we plan to lay down permanent roots.

“As one of the faster growing community banks in Arkansas, we are thrilled to continue with our aggressive growth pattern and trust that our brand of true community banking, delivered by local bankers who you know and trust, will resonate with the citizenry of Harrison and the surrounding area.”

Cross said the two-story banking center will be a little more than 8,000 square feet. There will also be employees who work for subsidiaries Cornerstone Investments and Cornerstone Home Mortgage who office in Harrison, Cross said.

Construction should take about 12 months.

The expansion should help family-owned Cornerstone stay on a strong growth path. The bank’s assets have grown more than 43% during the last three years, from $161.4 million on June 30, 2014, to $231.2 million on the same date in 2017.

Charlie Cross

Cornerstone has four Carroll County locations in Eureka Springs (2), Holiday Island and Berryville. In 2015, it opened a branch in Huntsville in adjacent Madison County, the first office outside Carroll County in the bank’s 106-year history. Cross’ family has owned the bank since 1929 when his great-grandfather, former Third District Congressman Claude A. Fuller, bought controlling interest in what was then called Bank of Eureka Springs, founded in 1912.

Cornerstone also opened a loan production office in 2015 in Shell Knob, Mo., near Table Rock Lake, but it was shuttered a couple of months ago.

Cross said, though, the bank still covets the southwest Missouri market.

“We put our toe in the water to see if Shell Knob would be a worthy point for consideration, but we found we were getting as much penetration into the market from that office as we were from our Berryville office,” he said.

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