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Progress Bank coming to Decatur
Company leases 2 floors of former Union Planters building, eyes January opening

By Eric Fleischauer 340-2435

Progress Bank (in organization) announced Thursday it has leased office space in the Union Planters building at 255 Grant St. S.E., which will be renamed Progress Tower.

Progress Bank plans to open offices in Huntsville and Decatur, pending receipt of a state banking charter, sale of at least $27 million in stock and final approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. FDIC has given preliminary approval for the venture.

The bank will lease the first and second-floor annex of the six-story, downtown building, which has been vacant since 2005. The building, which will be managed by Gateway Commercial Brokerage Inc., is scheduled for major upgrades by year's end, said Decatur President Bruce Pylant. He said the bank will completely renovate the banking space with new drive-in banking equipment, a new automatic teller machine and interior upgrades.

Jason Gantt of Gateway Commercial said additional space is available for lease.

"We will make customers feel appreciated when they visit the bank by providing refreshments and large-screen televisions, which will allow them to monitor current financial news," Pylant said. "In addition, we will provide automated coin machines to help young savers and not-for-profit organizations manage their deposits."

Pylant said he hopes to open the bank in January.

The business plan requires at least $27 million in capital. The offering price of the shares is $10, with a minimum of 1,000 and a maximum of 150,000 shares per purchaser. The last possible day for Progress to sell shares is Nov. 16.

Pylant said Progress Bank has received commitments for $16 million in shares.

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