Citizens Bank on Highway 59 in Loxley is a true “hometown” bank. It is owned and operated by local people who know the needs of their community and and that friendly, small-town atmosphere is exemplified by the president of the bank, Robert I. …
Citizens Bank on Highway 59 in Loxley is a true “hometown” bank. It is owned and operated by local people who know the needs of their community and and that friendly, small-town atmosphere is exemplified by the president of the bank, Robert I. Gulledge, who can trace his family back to one of the first 50 families in the county.
“One of the beauties of not being publicly traded is we don’t have analysts coming in to analyze our operations every four months. Nobody knows our community like we do. I’ve worked diligently to keep it a community bank — one that has business relationships based on trust. I think that’s our most valuable asset,” Gulledge said, adding, “A locally owned and locally operated bank reflects the values of the community.
Citizens Bank is also growing, with branches in Foley, Fairhope and Robertsdale but Gulledge said he is more interested in providing the services needed by the community than aggressive growth. “The economic strength of this county was built on small business,” he said.
Gulledge said the time has come to build a larger bank building in Loxley. The new building will be constructed on the empty property just north of the existing building.
“We have a nice little bank. It’s a nice building but we’ve outgrow it. We like the location, so about three years ago, we bought the old motel that was next door and demolished it, knowing we would be expanding,” Gulledge said.
The new building will be just over 4,000 square feet in size and constructed of red brick in a “traditional or colonial style,” he said. The one-story structure will have three drive-up lanes and all the modern conveniences, including an open, spacious lobby, offices and a conference room. Four teller’s cages are planned.
Gulledge said they will keep and maintain the present building, which was purchased in 1981. although he does not yet know how it will be used. “We might rent it, but we won’t sell it or tear it down for parking,” he said.
Loxley Councilwoman Katherine Breeden, who is spearheading a beautification program for the town, said she is pleased about the addition of the new bank building to the town.
“We’re really excited because we’ve been trying to beautify the area and the new bank building is going to be a wonderful, positive addition to the landscape of the town,” she said.
Gulledge said he hopes construction will begin on the new building within a few weeks, with completion by the end of the year.