Preferred Community Bank, a locally owned institution based in Fort Myers, is opening its first branch office in Cape Coral later this month.
The former bank building located at 2127 Del Prado Blvd. was purchased by Preferred two months ago. Interior modifications already have been completed and crews are now working on the exterior.
"We were waiting on permits to do the minor facelift on the exterior," said president and CEO Brenda O'Neil. "We will be open in about two weeks. We're working very hard to make that happen."
With the interior modifications being completed, the loan department staff is already in place. The branch have a staff of 12, including the loan department. Almost all of the employees are Cape Coral residents, including manager Steve Stewart and assistant manager Kim Geiger.
"We are very community oriented and that is the reason we hired bankers living in the community" said O'Neil. "The Cape has a history of favoring community banks and who better to hire than those who live in the community and know that market. Staff has been hired and they have been receiving training for several weeks."
Preferred Community Bank was launched in 2007 and has branch locations on Colonial Boulevard and in Lehigh. Cape Coral is the third in the company's history. O'Neil said more branches will be popping up in the future.
"We traditionally hire in the community and promote internally," said O'Neil. "We are delighted to be in the Cape."
Once the exterior facelift is completed the branch will host a couple of open house events and invites the community to visit.
"We might open the doors as soon as the 21st while construction outside is going on, but definitely by July 31," said O'Neil.
The branch will observe operating hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday and 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The location will deliver full service banking inside, through the drive-thru and outside ATM machine.