The Maury County Industrial Development Board has postponed a decision on whether to move forward with plans to develop a business park that would cover nearly 200 acres on Bear Creek Pike off Interstate 65 east of Columbia. Kelly Quimby at the Daily Herald has more on the need for partners to commit and the other hurdles county officials must clear.
And these problems don’t even begin to address the problem with the bedrock covering much of the potential site. Harris said the rock and topography present a “huge challenge” to the property’s development.
“We’re going to end up around over $50,000 an acre invested in this property,” Harris said. “We’re going to be able to potentially sell it for around $15,000 (per acre). It takes a lot of commitment from the governments to make that make sense.”
Today is a special day at First Farmers & Merchants Bank in Columbia, where both Chairman and CEO Randy Stevens and Chief Administrative Officer John Tomlinson are marking their 40th anniversaries at the bank. Both men are natives of Columbia who started work at First Farmers on Jan. 22, 1973, and have since helped shape its growth from less than $40 million in assets to more than $1 billion.
"First Farmers & Merchants Bank would not be where it is today were it not for Randy's and John's four decades of hard work and devotion to customers, employees of the bank and the people of Middle Tennessee," said Virgil H. Moore, Jr., senior chairman of the Board, who hired both men to the bank in 1973. "Their efforts and steady leadership have helped our employees build a bank with a solid balance sheet and a reputation as a stable and secure financial institution."
Columbia-based Heritage Bank & Trust has recruited Ben Rudd, an experienced West Tennessee banker, to be its president. Rudd takes over the president's spot from Paul Watson, a founding executive of seven-year-old Heritage who had been named to the position in the fall of 2010. Since then, Heritage tried to merge with TriStar Bank out of Dickson and downsized its board as it attempted to get a handle on losses related to the real estate bust. Through the first nine months of 2012, the two-office bank posted a profit of $40,000, down from $484,000 the year before.
“Ben brings to Heritage Bank & Trust a vast knowledge of the banking industry and a depth of experience in financial service and product delivery combined with outstanding leadership skills,” said Jim Robinson, Chief Executive Officer. “His focus on consumer service, professional attitude, lending experience and sense of urgency will be a huge asset in moving Heritage Bank and Trust forward in our efforts to continue to provide exceptional banking services to our community.”
The parent of Community First Bank & Trust out of Columbia posted a third-quarter net loss of $1.7 million, a number that would have been higher but for almost $700,000 in gains from the sale of securities. Community First Inc., which has been operating under various regulatory orders for almost two years, has been steadily adding to its capital cushion in the last two years. The pending sale of its high-profile Cool Springs branch will bring in more cash. And shedding more assets will help, too. But CEO Louis Holloway and his team still have a lot of heavy lifting to do: The company needs $15.3 million to meet the heightened capital requirements laid out by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Struggling lender Community First Bank & Trust has signed an agreement to sell its prominent Cool Springs office at Carothers Parkway and Bakers Bridge Avenue to $1.1 billion-asset First Citizens National Bank of Dyersburg. The deal is Community First's second attempt at unloading its lone Williamson County outpost. Earlier this summer, an agreement to have CapStar Bank take it over fell apart over pricing.
The demise of CapStar Bank's planned acquisition of the Cool Springs branch of Community First Bank & Trust got us looking back through the latter's recent regulatory filings. There, we found word that the bank holding company's board of directors late last month kicked CPA firm Crowe Horwath to the curb in favor of Horne. There were no material disagreements between Crowe and Community First, which is under order to quickly boost its capital ratios.
Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant officials announced today the opening this fall of a Columbia location.
The new restaurant — to operate in the space previously home to the Porter-Walker Company at 15 Public Square in Columbia’s historic downtown — will be similar to the Franklin and Nashville locations, as it will offer Puckett’s traditional Southern fare and be open seven days a week, from 6 a.m. daily and closing as late as 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturday.
In a release, company officials said renovations to the building’s space, which contains about 26,400 square feet, are expected to start in the next few weeks. Puckett’s owner Andy Marshall did not disclose a price tag for the effort.
“I believe this will be a turning point for the downtown community,” Harvey Church, chairman for the Maury County Chamber and Economic Alliance and chair elect for Columbia Main Street, said in a release. “Puckett’s is not just another restaurant coming to Maury County, but I believe will be a catalyst in moving our community to another level. Puckett’s on the square will not only help existing businesses and restaurants in downtown, but will draw new clientele to the area.”
Bostelman Enterprises, Inc., led by Steve Bostelman, is an investor in the Puckett’s Columbia project.
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