Consolidation means newer, bigger branch for Emprise Bank in Hays

08/26/2014 4:31 PM

08/26/2014 5:15 PM

Emprise Bank is building a new branch building in Hays to accommodate a consolidation of its branch network in the western Kansas city.

Tom Page, CEO of the $1.5 billion Wichita-based bank, said on Tuesday that Emprise has sold its downtown Hays headquarters building to an investor group and will move that office’s employees to one of two branch offices it will continue to operate.

Because of the addition of downtown staff, Page said Emprise has demolished its Hays East branch at 1011 E. 27th and is building a new branch there. At about 4,500 square feet, the new branch is nearly double the size of the building it replaced, he said.

“We hope to be in the new facility around the first of December,” Page said.

Page said the volume of business downtown combined with the opportunity to sell its multi-tenant building led to the decision to consolidate.

“We are not having any staff reductions related to this,” he said.

In addition to the east branch site, Emprise operates a branch on Hays’ west side, at 2701 Hall St.

Page said he and other Emprise officials considered expanding the east branch. But the east branch was a pre-fabricated building manufactured in the 1970s, and adding on to it with permanent construction would be difficult and expensive. The original east branch building was also poorly positioned, he said.

“The cost of remodeling it approached 50 percent of the cost of a new building,” Page said. “It just made sense to scrape it off ” and build new.

Emprise entered the Hays market in the late 1980s through its acquisition of the former First National Bank in Hays City. It operates branches in 23 Kansas cities.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or jsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jsiebenmark.

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