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Community & Southern Bank coming to Forsyth
Location will be on Market Place
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Forsyth County News


The brick building at 1700 Market Place Blvd. in Cumming has been home to several banks over the years.

In its latest transformation, the site will house Community & Southern Bank’s 42nd location.

Stacey Mann, the bank’s executive vice president, said the Carrollton-based firm sees potential in Forsyth County.

“It’s a wonderful market,” Mann said. “We’re excited about coming there. It’s one of the best markets in Georgia.”

The Market Place location debuted in 2004 as First National Bank of Forsyth County, which was then sold to Buckhead Community Bank and renamed Forsyth Community Bank.

Buckhead Community Bank and its six branches were seized by the FDIC in December 2009 and its assets were purchased by State Bank & Trust Company, which closed the Cumming site.

It worked out well for Community & Southern, Mann said.

“We’re glad the opportunity came up and this facility was available,” he said. “We want to reopen it and put it back in business.”

Mann said he expects the Forsyth location to open in the first quarter of 2011.

James McCoy, president and chief executive officer of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, said Community
& Southern’s decision reflects the strength of the local market.

In addition to Community & Southern, he cited “Alliance National Bank and their growth in the community, Chase opening two locations in Forsyth County” and SunTrust expanding.

“It really does speak to the level of interest in the Forsyth community,” he said.

The Market Place location has experienced some turnover, but McCoy said being at the heart of one of the busiest local corridors makes it an attractive banking market.

“First National Bank was incredibly successful when they were located there,” McCoy said. “They were bought out by Buckhead Community Bank not because they were failing, but because they were so successful.

“It’s probably one of the most attractive banking locations in all of north Georgia.”

Community & Southern Bank has been on a fast growth track, assuming deposits from the 10 branches of Appalachian Community Bank the FDIC seized in March.

In September, following another FDIC seizure, the bank took over the Bank of Ellijay, first Commerce Community Bank in Douglasville and The Peoples Bank in Winder.

The bank boasts about $2.5 billion in assets while maintaining a community bank feel, Mann said.

“We’re a community bank focused in these rural markets and that’s where we want to put our emphasis,” he said. “We’ve got a great management team. We understand the markets.”

While the bank has fared well during the recession, Mann said he’s optimistic for the industry.

“A typical recession lasts two to three years and we’ve been in this one for three, so hopefully we’re about to come out the other end of this slow period and hopefully good things are about to happen all over Georgia,” he said.