New bank facility on schedule

Progress continues on the new Killeen corporate headquarters for First National Bank Texas

Progress is being made on a new five-story banking facility in Killeen, set for an opening late this year.

Jessica Pelache, director of customer experience for First National Bank Texas, said on Tuesday by email that construction progress for the new corporate headquarters building, located at Interstate 14 and Trimmier Road is proceeding as planned. The bank has an existing branch there, and has owned that land since owned since the 1980s, she added.

“We are excited about our continued growth and the growth of Killeen,” Pelache said.

Pelache said the new 47,000-square foot facility will house a state-of-the-art full-service bank branch replacing the current Trimmier Banking Center as well as professional and support offices.

The full-service bank will be located on the first floor of the building. The other four floors will house various executive level and professional support departments. Employees from both the downtown Gray Street headquarters and the Trimmier Road branch would consolidate within the new facility.

“While we are also currently exploring the possibility of an additional expansion opportunity in Killeen, we are unable to comment further on that project at this time,” she added.

Pelache said that the bank has invested over $14 million into the new building. First National has 338 branches in four states and over $3 billion in assets. As a result, the company said it has outgrown its current facility in downtown that was built in 1960 when the bank had only $100 million in assets and only one branch.

The bank held a virtual groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility in October.

“As a result of the pandemic, we have opted for a virtual event for this groundbreaking as an abundance of health precaution,” Bobby Hoxworth, president and CEO of First National Bank Texas said at the time in a news release. “We look to the future with great anticipation as we continue to serve our communities one customer at a time, providing outstanding financial products and services wrapped in a strong commitment to a convenient community bank experience.”

According to Hoxworth, the new building will house a total of 130 full-time jobs with the average annual salary of $66,983.

First National Bank Texas was founded in Killeen in 1901 and has provided financial services to the community for over 119 years. The new corporate headquarters is set to open in late 2021, however, the company has not given a specific date.

Last April, the Killeen City Council approved entering a tax abatement agreement with First National Bank on the property.

The 10-year, $858,715.27 deal was approved with a 6-1 vote, with then-Councilman Gregory Johnson in opposition. Johnson said he felt “uncomfortable” with the current state of local small businesses due to COVID-19 and the council voting on “something like this at this time.”

A tax abatement is an agreement between a local government and a property owner to exempt part of the taxes owed in return for improvements to the property. | 254-501-7463

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