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Prosperity Bank project should begin in weeks
by Gary Kent
Jul 23, 2011 | 1784 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Above is an artist rending of what the new Prosperity Bank building will look like.
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A 39-year-old downtown Beeville landmark could be gone by the end of next month, never to be seen again.

Mickey Lofton, president of Beeville’s Prosperity Bank since 2000, confirmed that the well-known building at the intersection of West Corpus Christi and North Washington streets is about to be razed.

“It’s just a matter of getting the subcontractors together,” Lofton said.

That job is being done by BLS Construction, the El Campo-based general contractor in charge of the project.

The change has been common knowledge for Prosperity customers for months now.

But the heavy equipment will be moving into place in just weeks, Lofton said.

“There have been a few delays,” the president said. “It’ll probably start in mid-August.”

Lofton thinks the project will take about six months to complete.

Bank executives and board members started contemplating the project some time ago as the company tried to deal with an aging and inefficient heating and air conditioning system. Leaky roof problems compounded those issues.

Lofton said it finally became obvious that the company was going to have to take on a major restoration project.

“We’ll have to clean out the building,” He said. A temporary facility will be put in place west of the existing eight-lane drive-through facility.

Getting that temporary building arranged also has caused some delays in starting the project.

The drive-through lanes will stay where they are, Lofton said.

Then contractors will demolish the front part of the existing building and save the two-story part at the rear.

After the demolition is complete, work will begin on the new building. Plans call for a two-story building offering 7,050 square feet on the ground floor and 5,393 square feet on the second floor, City Building Inspector Lanny Holland said.

Of the 12,443 total square footage, 5,865 will be public use space.

Holland said the new design calls for the front of the bank to sit back 45 feet from Washington Street and parking will be available in front of the building.

Holland said major structures in the building, like the elevator and the vault, will remain where they are now.

The greatest change will be the exterior and facade of the building. The existing white brick and marble panels will be removed and replaced with what Lofton calls a Chicago brick.

He said the color of the new brick will includes reds and browns similar to a brick style he has seen before.

Lofton said the brick will give the building a 1900s appearance that will better fit in with the looks of the Bee County Courthouse and Joe Barnhart Bee County Library.

“It’s going to be a unique building in that it’s going to be an old-style design with modern conveniences,” Holland said.

“I think it’ll blend in with our area really well,” Lofton said.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.

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