Business Report: Missouri – Commerce Bank Puts New HQ In Joplin Tornado Recovery Zone
By Shana Daley
From the July/August 2014 issue
Commerce Bank has announced plans to move its Joplin headquarters from its downtown site at 211 S. Main St. to a new bank building that will be constructed at the southwest corner of 20th Street and Connecticut Avenue—the site where a Commerce branch was destroyed by an F5 tornado in May 2011.
A groundbreaking for the proposed 12,500-square-foot bank headquarters is planned for the first quarter of 2014.
“The May 22, 2011, tornado devastated our community here in Joplin,” Clive Veri, president and market manager for Commerce Bank, said in a statement. “Commerce Bank lost two branches but we knew all along that we would rebuild.”
Both the current 20th Street and downtown locations will remain open until the new bank is built, but when the new headquarters is complete, Commerce will close its branch at 2980 McClelland Blvd. to all but a full-service ATM.
According to a report in the Joplin Globe the downtown building that includes the Commerce Bank Corporate Center is under contract for sale. Veri said the downtown branch will continue to serve customers from a smaller footprint on the east side of the current building. He said the downtown branch will be remodeled and will continue as a full-service banking center.
The new headquarters will include a full-service bank center, a drive-up with four lanes and an ATM. It will feature more privacy and a “technology bar” with computer work stations for customers.
“We are pleased to be able to build a new, modern facility to meet the needs of this community in the area where the tornado destroyed so much,” Veri said in his statement. “The branch will be the Commerce you have always known but a more contemporary design.”
A site plan for the new bank headquarters was reviewed by the Joplin Planning and Zoning Commission, which agreed to advance it to the City Council with a recommendation for approval. An architect told commission members that the building will have a distinctive tower over the main entrance as one of its architectural features and will be constructed with a masonry exterior.
The tornado created an opportunity for Commerce to purchase land next to the original location in order to build a new headquarters on that site. Construction on the new HQ is expected to be complete early in 2015.
The new full-service bank, designed by Howard and Helmer Architecture, will be about 12,500 square feet and will feature updated amenities—including a technology bar with customer work stations, video conferencing capabilities, more energy-efficient designs and a modern appearance, according to Veri. Some 3,500 square feet on the east side of the branch will be devoted to retail services with enclosed offices for financial service representatives, traditional tellers, four drive-up lanes and an ATM. Veri said the west side of the branch will house administrative offices and commercial staff, along with a large conference room and a technology suite.
LMV EXPANDS IN LIBERTY
Automotive parts supplier LMV Automotive Systems will invest an additional $48.7 million to expand its Liberty operation, Gov. Jay Nixon has announced. The expansion is expected to create an additional 166 new jobs and is the second major investment by LMV in two years.
“From my very first day in office, I have been committed to making Missouri a leader in the rebirth of the American auto industry—and these efforts continue to pay off with LMV’s announcement today,” Gov. Nixon said. “The decision by this industry leader to double-down on its investment in the Show-Me State marks another major milestone in Missouri’s auto manufacturing comeback. With proven, pro-growth policies and smart investments, we will continue creating good jobs for Missouri families and moving our economy forward.”
The announcement is the second phase in the company’s manufacturing operation in Missouri. In June 2012, LMV broke ground on a $42 million assembly facility in Liberty. The facility, which will supply parts to be used in the new Transit van being built at the Ford Motor Co. Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, will employ 156 workers. LMV’s expansion will add a new 256,600 square-foot facility and create an additional 166 new jobs. Operations of the first facility and construction of the second facility are expected to begin this summer.
“We continue to gain significant momentum in economic development and job creation in Liberty,” said Lyndell Brenton, Mayor of the City of Liberty. “Less than two years after breaking ground for a 213,000 square foot facility in Liberty, LMV Automotive is proving that Liberty is an ideal and welcoming community for businesses with this expansion announcement. Although they have yet to reach full production in the original facility, this 250,000 square foot expansion not only represents an additional $49 million investment in our community but also will bring another 166 new, good paying jobs to Liberty.”
LMV Automotive is a subsidiary of Cosma International. Since the announcement of LMV’s groundbreaking, Gov. Nixon has met with Magna leadership on several occasions, including meeting with Magna CEO Donald Walker during a recent trade mission to Canada.
Missouri has also seen strong growth among automotive suppliers. LMV Automotive Systems joins suppliers like Janesville Acoustics, Yanfeng USA Automotive Trim Systems, SRG Global, Adrian Steel, Toyota Bodine, and Grupo Antolin North America in announcing plans to expand in the Show-Me State over the past two years.