United banks on grandiose Downtown El Paso buildingUnited banks on grandiose Downtown El Paso buildinghttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=69922013-06-25T09:21:00Z2013-06-24T00:00:00Z

EL PASO - United Bank of El Paso del Norte has completed the transformation of a Downtown parking garage into a four-story, Spanish Colonial-style bank and office building with a bell tower that can be seen for miles, and a lobby featuring a restored 25-ton, 140-year-old vault door.

The locally owned, 12-year-old bank spent about $11 million to buy, rebuild, furnish and equip the building, which includes almost 14,000 sf of office space that will be leased on the top floor, said Les Parker, the bank's chief executive officer.

"This is an expression of their (500 local shareholders and bank board) confidence in El Paso," Parker said. "The bank is doing well, and will continue to do well, but the reason we did this is this is our contribution to Downtown revitalization."

The bank's fourth branch, located on the ground floor of the new building at 401 E. Main, is across the street from the new City Hall.

"If we were focused on household accounts, this (location) wouldn't be as important," Parker said. "There are not many households Downtown, but there's a lot of small businesses, and that's our bread and butter."

The expansive lobby features interior office windows with stone arches, a wood-beamed ceiling, Spanish-style chandeliers, and a floor covered with brown, stone-like tiles. A public meeting room that seats 56 people is also on the 10,000-sf ground floor.

The 17,000-sf top floor is now an expansive, empty space with window-lined walls giving a panoramic view of Downtown and a part of the Franklin Mountains. It has almost 14,000 sf of office space, which is leasing for $20 per sf per year.

"The Downtown office market is improving, and this is a special product, and highly visible," Sonny Brown, chairman of commercial real estate company Sonny Brown Associates, said.

El Paso Times
El Paso
http://www.elpasotimes.com/business/ci_23519483/united-bank-opens-grandiose-fourth-branch-downtownRead more at {Source}

 Search NewsTalk Texas