AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Happy State Bank's latest purchase is helping the company leave its mark on the city of Amarillo.
"We just bought the entire block, due south of our current downtown location. We bought what was formally occupied by AIG," said CEO & Chairman of Happy State Bank J. Pat Hickman. "They built that building back in the early to mid 50's. They have now spread their employees to other locations. We had the opportunity to expand our downtown footprint."
The new location will help meet a need for the company.
"My employees and customers are always looking for parking," said Hickman. "It was a deal we couldn't pass up."
The bank is only in the beginning stages but is working to decide how to proceed in the future.
"In all probability, we will raise the taller building there," said Hickman. "That was built so long ago, there's no sprinkle system. There's only one elevator that's fire-rated. There's only one stairwell that's fire-rated."
"The cost estimate of bringing it up to code, you could build a new building. Those are preliminary, we may change our mind. We want to look at it, study it."
With this addition, Happy State will now own five full blocks downtown.
"We know this Panhandle economy. We're excited about things that we see happening in the Panhandle, things happening in Amarillo," said Hickman. "This is just one more way we can get a little more deeper roots into this area."
"It's more evidence of how strong and how safe our company is, how blessed we are that the people of the Panhandle have chosen to bank with us."
The bank says the thriving downtown economy has played a role in their growth.
"We'll be obviously looking for some kind of fun way, especially with the ballpark just being a couple blocks away, we'll be looking for some ways to enhance downtown a little bit more," said Hickman.