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Baldwin-based bank to open new branch on West Sixth Street; a snapshot of local banking activity


During much of the 1990s and into the 2000s, it was a scene as common as dandelions in spring: Optimism about the local real estate market would increase, and so would the number of banks in the city.

Well, it is certainly not the 1990s or 2000s again but the optimism meter has gained a level or two, and residents should look for another West Lawrence bank in the next few weeks.

Baldwin-based Mid-America Bank has finalized a deal to purchase the former location of the Lawrence branch of Bank of the West, 4114 W. Sixth Street. Allison Vance Moore, a broker with the Lawrence Colliers International office, negotiated the deal for the location, which is just a block west of the Hy-Vee on Sixth Street.

Mid-America has had a small mortgage-processing office in Lawrence for several years. But when this full-service bank location became available after Bank of the West left the market, Mid-America President Dave Hill decided to put a Lawrence expansion plan in place.

A larger loan production office will be operating in the space by the end of the month, and Hill said he plans to have a full-service bank — including a drive-thru, deposits and loans — operating in the building by Dec. 1. It will be the third full-service banking location for Mid-America. The company has its main branch in Baldwin City, and it opened a Wellsville branch in December.

“The last three years really have been record years for us,” Hill said.

He said construction loan activity has declined significantly during the period, but it has been more than made up by refinancing activity. Now, he said loans for custom homes are starting to pick back up.

The bank — which grew from a start-up in the late 1990s to an institution with $75 million in assets today — manages about $130 million in real estate loans, with most of them primarily in a 30-mile radius of Lawrence. When the full-service branch opens, Hill said the bank will have seven employees in Lawrence, up from two currently.

• Maybe you are like me (an expert dandelion grower), and are curious to see a snapshot of the local banking market. Even if you are not, I’m going to provide one because I took the time to look up these numbers.

Deposits aren’t necessarily the best way to gauge the health of a banking market, but they aren’t bad either. There obviously have been some struggles for individual banks in the past few years, but the amount of deposits in Douglas County has continued to grow during the recent economic downturn. Still, as the numbers below will indicate, deposit growth has a long way to go to get back to the numbers we were seeing in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The numbers below are from the FDIC’s annual June market-share report. The numbers in parentheses are the amount of deposits adjusted for inflation. In other words, I’ve put all the deposits into 2012 dollars.

— June 2012: $1.92 billion in deposits in Douglas County among 24 institutions;

— June 2007: $1.55 billion ($1.72 billion adjusted for inflation) among 25 institutions;

— June 2002: $1.27 billion ($1.62 billion adjusted for inflation) among 23 institutions;

— June 1997: $920.3 million ($1.32 billion adjusted for inflation) among 18 institutions.

Click here, and you can see the amount of deposits broken down by institution. There have been several changes in the rankings over the years, but one thing has remained constant for more than a decade: Three banks hold more than 50 percent of all the deposits in Douglas County: U.S. Bank, Capitol Federal Savings Bank and Douglas County Bank.

Some things, it seems, never change — which leads me to predict that I’ll soon delight my neighbors with a wonderful carpet of beautiful yellow flowers. At least I assume that expression on their faces is delight.


Number_1_Grandma 5 years, 1 month ago

Like this town doesn't already have enough banks!

You know that Lawrence has money with a bank at every corner...

MarcoPogo 5 years, 1 month ago

The banks have run out all the liveries and telegraph stations! Now we're stuck with things like KISS-FM.

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