First entering the market in 2013, United Community Bank has continued to grow not only in the Upstate but across South Carolina. It’s this progressive growth over the years that has spurred the bank to move its headquarters from Georgia to downtown Greenville
The move, United’s CEO and president Lynn Harton said, has come down to a need for more space in Greenville.
“We have three facilities in downtown Greenville, and [we can essentially] see where we will begin running out of space in those three facilities very shortly,” Harton says. United leases two locations — one on West Washington St. and the other on E. North St. — that will be moved into the new headquarters. The office on E. Broad St. will remain.
Harton and his colleagues realized it was an opportunity to consolidate these spaces to accommodate the bank’s growth but also bring their employees together, he says.
The new headquarters will sit on the Reedy River next to the Bohemian Hotel in downtown Greenville at 200 E. Camperdown Way where Wyche Law Firm is currently located. The $24.8 million project will be completed by 2024, according to the bank.
The bank’s current headquarters is in Blairsville, Georgia.
United Community Bank will become the largest bank headquartered in South Carolina, according to Harton. United currently has 34 branch offices across the state.
Harton says United’s leadership has been based in Greenville for a long time and that the move was inevitable. “We felt like this was the right time to kind of officially name Greenville as headquarters,” he says.
The bank is also riding the wave of its own success. United celebrated its 70th anniversary last year. While the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the U.S. economy hard, the South has faired okay economically in part because Southern states avoided significant business shutdowns, reported The Wall Street Journal.
United has continued to grow, too.
In July, the bank entered the Florida market with the acquisition of Florida-based Three Shores Bancorpororation and its wholly owned subsidiary, Seaside National Bank and Trust.
The bank also processed almost 11,000 PPP applications, which totaled $1.3 billion in new loans, according to United.
“We’re fortunate to be in a great financial condition. The company has performed very well through the pandemic. We believe there’s going to be continuing opportunities for consolidation in the industry, so in other words, we think we’ll be able to continue to acquire banks,” said Harton.
He added that he believes there is “tremendous opportunity” in Greenville.
That includes the addition of more than 220 employees. No jobs at the previous headquarters will be eliminated, according to the bank. Across its footprint, United employs more than 2,400 people. Of those employees, 611 are in South Carolina, 433 are in the Upstate and 287 are in Greenville County.
From attracting new talent and retaining existing talent, Greenville will be the nexus for United for years to come.
“We’re saying is we’re planting our flag here,” says Harton. “We’re going to continue to expand and grow here.”