SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Capital One Bank plans to close two of its locations in Shreveport.
The bank says it will shutter its facilities at 9360 Mansfield Road and 7701 Pines Road by mid-April.
The Southwood branch, built in August 1971, and the Huntington branch, built in August 1981, originally were owned by Pioneer Bank and later were purchased by Hibernia before being acquired by Capital One through its acquisition of Hibernia in 2005.
"There are opportunities to physically consolidate operations into existing branches nearby," Capital One spokesman Steven Thorpe said. "The Southwood branch is about one mile from the South Shreveport branch, and the Huntington branch is about three miles from the I-20 West branch."
Capital One customers with accounts at the Southwood branch will be moved to the Capital One branch at 9181 Mansfield Road, and accounts at the Huntington branch will be moved to the branch at 6161 Greenwood Road.
"Capital One Bank is continually evaluating our business to ensure we operate as efficiently as possible." Through the course of these evaluations, in some instances, decisions are made to open, renovate, close or relocate branches," Thorpe said.
Meantime, other banks plan to move into the area, according to Southern Hill Business Association consultant Jim Mabus. "Banks have done well in the area. I know of at least one looking to add a larger location."
Mabus said he is unable to release the name of the company. But he did confirm that Gibsland Bank & Trust Co. plans to open a location at Mansfield at Williamson roads. Plans are for a temporary location to be open by the end of the month.
"This is a corporate decision," Mabus said of the Capital One consolidation. "Both locations have been expanded over the past 10 years. It has nothing to do with traffic."
Southern Hills struggled in the early 2000s with the closure of the AT&T plant and South Park Mall and many freestanding businesses that followed suit. But the area has since seen a dramatic boom, partially due to industry surrounding exploration and development of the Haynesville Shale natural gas play, Mabus said.
"We have seen, over the last two years at least, a resurgence in interest from businesses and new businesses opening up to take advantage of the stable population in the area," he said, noting the marked increase in food service and medical centers. "The business community has definitely seen a turnaround. There are very few vacant commercial buildings compared to a few years ago."
And Mabus expects Southern Hills will welcome several new businesses in the coming months. "We know, for example, Dunkin' Donuts is looking in the area, as are UPS and Verizon." Next month, construction is expected to begin on a Carl's Jr. fast-food restaurant and training facility.
While the growth has been steady, Mabus said, he would like to see more investor-related businesses and industries take root in the Southern Hills area. "The big vacancy is the former AT&T plant. With 1 million square feet, we would like to see someone occupy that in order to provide employment."
Southern Hills Business Association is working with real estate broker Stirling Properties to generate more exposure for the location.
Information from: The Times, http://www.shreveporttimes.com