First Community Bank will be adding a banking center in downtown Batesville pending regulatory approval according to an announcement from Dale Cole, the bank’s chairman and chief executive officer.
“We are extremely eager to offer another service center in historic downtown Batesville,” Cole said. “We believe that a vibrant downtown district is essential to the overall health of our community. Rounding out the recent revitalization efforts with a community bank just feels like a natural fit.
“Our board graciously agreed to make the investment in downtown Batesville, and soon we will have a presence on the corner of Third & Main. A vacant building will have a new life and purpose and will add to the charm and appeal of Batesville’s Main Street.”
Representatives from the bank will be working closely with the Batesville Historic District Commission to assure that the building’s restoration is within the historical guidelines. Plans are to renovate the exterior and interior of the 2,500 square foot building.
“We love the vibe that downtown has going, so we want to incorporate some design elements that will invite customers to visit and maybe even enjoy a cup of coffee and some Wi-Fi time in addition to their banking needs. An ATM will also be on site at this location.”
This building was constructed circa 1900 to replace the two-story, wood-frame Hinkle & Co. General Merchandise building that was destroyed by fire in 1897. A new brick and glass block facade was added to the building sometime in the mid-20th century.
Historically, the building housed Parks Hardware Store. In 1953 it became the original location of The Citizens Bank. A drive-up “Auto Bank” window on the building’s 3rd Street elevation dates to 1953. Just ten years after it opened, in 1963, The Citizens Bank relocated.
After Citizens’ exit, the building became home to Platter Inn music store. At present, the store front is empty.
“Since the inception of First Community Bank, we have been very passionate about supporting the efforts of our downtown area. We offer low interest financing programs for building improvements and new businesses. We have worked closely with The Federal Home Loan Bank grant program on behalf of our borrowers to apply for additional grant monies for them. Our bank was among the first to commit to the revitalization effort of downtown Batesville, and we quickly stepped up to the call for financial support of the development of Maxfield Park. We are eager to do more and can’t wait to bring community banking to the downtown district,” Cole concluded.