Breaking ground

Published 9:51 pm Saturday, October 11, 2008

Few banks were celebrating last week.

But on Wednesday, just days after Congress approved an unprecedented $700 billion bailout package to help salvage the country’s floundering economy, TowneBank was marking a $7 million investment in North Suffolk.

Dozens of local leaders and banking officials turned out for the groundbreaking of TowneBank’s Harbour View Banking Center. The 29,000-square-foot center, to be located off Harbour View Boulevard, is expected to open in late 2009.


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This office will offer myriad financial services, including full-service banking, real estate, investment, and private banking services, said TowneBank Chairman and CEO Bob Aston. Ten years ago, he and a group of investors founded what has grown into the largest bank headquartered in Hampton Roads.

“We consider this a vibrant, growing area,” said Aston. “We’re thrilled and believe this banking and real estate investment center will be the centerpiece … for (the proposed) Town Center of Harbour View.”

In addition to the banking and real estate services, the law firm, Oast & Hook, will open an office in the building.

City and state officials helped shovel dirt at the ceremony, with Del. S. Chris Jones adding that it was more than 20 years ago, when he was mayor, that he got his first look at the projects that have turned farmland into Harbour View.

“I am glad to see TowneBank expand their retail banking presence within our community,” said Mayor Linda Johnson. “This new facility will provide residents with convenient banking options from a well-respected financial services provider.”

According to a company press release, TowneBank operates 17 banking offices in Chesapeake, Hampton, Portsmouth, Newport News, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Williamsburg and York County. Towne also offers a full range of financial services through its controlled divisions and subsidiaries that include Towne Investment Group, Towne Insurance Agency, TFA Benefits, TowneBank Mortgage, TowneBank Commercial Mortgage, GSH Real Estate Corporation, TowneBank 1031 Exchange LLC, Corolla Classic Vacations and Corolla Real Estate.