Peoples Bank celebrates new branch location

PARKERSBURG – Peoples Bank’s southside branch is moving into a bigger space a little closer to downtown Parkersburg.

The branch at 2107 Pike St. in the Southgate Shopping Center and its eight employees will relocate this summer to 903 Division St. Company officials and guests gathered Friday at the building across from Kroger and Kmart to celebrate the move.

“It’s closer to the downtown area, and it’s a very busy retail corridor,” said Josh Carlson, senior vice president of retail banking for Peoples.

The new location is a $1.8 million investment by the company, according to a release from Peoples. The branch is moving into a building most recently occupied by a telemarketing firm, but which has sat vacant in recent years.

“We’re delighted to get the opportunity to play a small role in the revitalization,” said Peoples Bank President and CEO Chuck Sulerzyski.

The building was originally 12,000 square feet, but half of it was torn down to make room for multiple drive-through lanes. Of the remaining 6,000 square feet, about 3,500 is being renovated into space for full-service banking, wealth management and insurance services.

“It’ll be our biggest branch here in Parkersburg-Vienna,” Sulerzyski said.

Options are being considered for how to use the rest of the space, with community meeting rooms being one possibility, said Richard Stafford, executive vice president, sales and marketing, for Peoples.

“We want to be part of the community and work with the community on how we can best utilize the property,” he said.

The bank also has plans to offer financial seminars at the location.

The project is expected to be completed in July. It qualifies for a city incentive for utilizing vacant buildings that rebates the business and occupation tax on the property for five years, Mayor Bob Newell said.

As much as the city appreciates new construction, it’s also good to have a previously unused property active again, Newell said in remarks at the ceremony.

He noted the new bank branch is among many developments in that area, including a Speedway now under construction.

“I’ve said many times that this area of Parkersburg is going to be the best chance we have for redevelopment and expansion,” Newell said, citing access to Corridor D.