Snow, cold delay opening of CrossFirst Bank’s Wichita building

Steve Peterson is the Wichita market president for CrossFirst Bank.
Steve Peterson is the Wichita market president for CrossFirst Bank.

Two more months.

That’s how long Steve Peterson thinks it will be before he and his nine Wichita staff can move into the 15,000-square-foot, two-story building that CrossFirst Bank is building in northeast Wichita.

Peterson, president of CrossFirst in Wichita, said Monday that it likely will be the middle of May before the Leawood-based bank can occupy the site, which earlier had been expected to open in the first quarter of 2013. The first quarter ends March 31.

“We were on pace until I don’t know how many rounds of snow hit us,” Peterson said.

Work on the bank’s Wichita office near the southwest corner of 13th and Webb started last summer. Peterson said completing the new building’s extensive brickwork became a problem when snow started to fall beginning last December, and it was further complicated by bitterly cold temperatures.

He said workers put up “tents” around the brickwork but once the temperatures fell into the teens and single digits during parts of January and February, work installing the brick had to be halted.

“There’s so many things dependent on the brick going in,” he said. “On those really cold days they weren’t able to work.”

According to preliminary data from the National Weather Service’s Wichita office, a little more than 19 inches of snow fell in Wichita between December and the end of February.

Peterson said he’s confident about being able to move in mid-May. The bank’s current office is in leased space at the Country Club Office Park, which is just northeast of the new CrossFirst building.

“I feel a lot more optimistic today,” he said.

Crossland Construction is the general contractor, and GLMV is the architect.

CrossFirst is an $843 million bank co-founded by former Intrust Bank executive and Wichitan Ron Baldwin, who is CrossFirst chairman. The bank, which also has offices in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, entered Wichita in January 2012.