Laredo lender is adding more branches in Alamo City (March 30, 2007)
Laredo lender is adding more branches in Alamo City (March 30, 2007)As printed in the San Antonio Business Journal - March 30, 2007 by Tamarind Phinisee
Falcon International Bank is moving forward with an aggressive branch expansion in South Texas.
At the top of the list is a plan to open a new branch at its property at Bandera Road and Loop 1604.
The Laredo-based bank originally announced plans to develop this site three years ago. Now, those plans are coming to fruition.
Hugo Gutierrez III, banker and business development executive for Falcon Bank in San Antonio, says the bank has broken ground on a 16,500-square-foot facility on the 2.5 acre site.
Part of the facility -- 3,500 square feet -- will be dedicated to a Falcon bank branch, which will serve as the end cap of the property. The remaining space will be leased out to retail tenants.
Completion of the structure is set for the end of the year.
Gutierrez says the bank also has signed a letter of intent to acquire property near Interstate Highway 10 and Loop 1604 where it plans to build another branch location.
Aside from growth in the Alamo City, Gutierrez says Falcon International is eyeing growth in other parts of Central and South Texas.
"We want to concentrate on expanding in the markets where Falcon already has a presence, like San Antonio and maybe add more locations," he says.
One hot spot has been the Rio Grande Valley. Last week, the bank held a grand opening for its second location in Eagle Pass. The full-service 6,568-square-foot branch is located at 476 S. Bibb Ave.
About a year ago, the lender opened two full-service locations in Del Rio.
In addition, two more Falcon Bank facilities are slated to open in the Lower Rio Grande Valley region by the end of this year. Construction has begun on the first facility, which will be located at 500 E. Business Highway 83 in McAllen -- the lender's second branch in that city. Another branch facility is planned for 605 N. Shary Road in Mission, Texas.
Falcon also unveiled its first branch in Brownsville two weeks ago. The 4,000-square-foot branch is located in The Corner Shopping Center on Boca Chica Boulevard.
"We have also purchased property in San Marcos and hope to have a location there within the next two years. And, we are very seriously looking at property in Austin," Gutierrez says.
Falcon does not now have a branch operation in that city.
All of this expansion activity, Gutierrez says, will be nurtured by changes in leadership from the top down.
In December of last year, Hugo Gutierrez' uncle, Adolfo, assumed the role of CEO and chairman after Adolfo's father, Hugo Gutierrez Sr., stepped down.
Adolfo Gutierrez, in turn relinquished his position as president and chief operating officer at Falcon to Gilbert Narvaez Jr. The lender also appointed four regional presidents for its South Central, Southwest, Lower Rio Grande and Southern Coastal regions. Richard Terry Cullen was named president for the South Central region, which includes San Antonio and Buda.
These changes, Hugo Gutierrez says, allow Adolfo Gutierrez to focus on promoting the bank, while delegating everyday decision making to those at the local level.
In addition, he says, it allows the bank to continue to grow without sacrificing the customized personal attention of a small bank.
Falcon International Bank, founded in 1986, was acquired by the Gutierrez family in 1995, at which time it had 20 employees and $52 million in assets.
Today, the bank operates two offices of representation in Mexico and has a total of 13 branches in South Texas, including two in San Antonio. It also has more than 300 employees and in excess of $665 million in assets.