Construction is underway on Southern First Bank‘s new corporate headquarters in Greenville. The building, which will be located at the intersection of Laurens Road and Verdae Boulevard, will embody Southern First’s focus on the future of banking and its relationship with each of its clients.
“We’re really proud of our culture here and proud of being independent for 20 years. And looking forward to the next 20 and beyond,” said Cal Hurst, Southern First’s chief banking officer. “We’re growing, we’re expanding and we’re excited to put this together to be a place where we can continue to be right here.”
The concept, Hurst said, is of the future — “this idea that banking looks different today than it did 20 years ago. We want to be built for that.”
Southern First celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. The bank began in 2000 with more than $11 million raised from about 400 people and has grown to a pre-COVID-19 valuation of $300 million, according to Southern First CEO Art Seaver.
“We feel fortunate that Greenville is our home, and this is a statement to the Greenville community and to our state, but it’s also a statement to what our company wants to be,” said Seaver. “In a day and age where banking used to be about branches, and it used to be about products or services, we believe banking is much more about relationships with a specific banker that can be consistent and can be professional.”
The new headquarters will stand as a testament to that view of relationships and as a celebration of Southern First’s home in Greenville.
Acting as a gateway to downtown Greenville, the facility will cover more than 100,000 square feet on about seven acres, more than doubling its current headquarters size. The five-story building will be home to its flagship retail banking office as well as a cafe. It will have a parkland setting along with walking trails.
“The bank was looking for a unique kind of personal statement to their bank, and they have a very unique clientele, a very unique banking approach — extremely client-focused and very, very engaging kind of philosophy,” says David Dixon of Craig Gaulden Davis Architecture, who worked on the design. “They weren’t looking for a traditional bank.”
“We’re growing, we’re expanding and we’re excited to put this together to be a place where we can continue to be right here.” – Cal Hurst, chief banking officer, Southern First Bank
Southern First Bank’s new headquarters will “set a tone of a progressive spirit” and will feature welcoming, open spaces as well as areas designed for gatherings, according to Dixon.
Cothran Properties LLC, Stubbs Muldrow Herin architects and Harper General Contractors were also cited by Southern First as contributing to the plans.
The completion of the approximately $40 million project is expected at the end of 2021.
“This is a statement about our vision for the future of this company, especially as part of the Greenville community and our ability to continue growing our way which … has been one client at a time and on a relationship basis,” said Hurst.