Banks Join Forces to Finance Salina Destination Housing Project

A couple of Salina banks working together are helping make possible the largest housing project in the history of Salina.

Bennington State Bank and First Bank Kansas have come together to finance the first phase of Salina Destination, a new multi-family housing development. The his collaborative effort is being led by Bennington State Bank as the lead financer, with First Bank Kansas as a participating financial supporter of the project.

Bank officials believe the involvement of these two community banks underscores their shared commitment to fostering community growth by providing much needed housing options for residents.

The City of Salina has been awarded $25 million to facilitate housing expansion, a portion of which is allocated to the Magnolia Village project. The new housing complex is located near the intersection of Magnolia and I-135. The first phase of this development will include 254 apartments featuring spacious floor plans, in-house laundry and various outdoor amenities. This project is a response to the anticipated influx of new employees expected in Salina, driven by the community’s robust economic development.

Salina City Manager, Mike Schrage, highlighted the extensive efforts behind the project, stating, “This is the culmination of a lot of work by a lot of people over a lot of years.” Schrage emphasized that there have been many background economic successes, months of
preparation, and multiple instrumental people to get to this point.

According to the banks, Magnolia Village is a pivotal project designed to address Salina’s growing demand for rental properties. Salina Destination Development, the organization behind Magnolia Village, aims to create a residential complex that not only meets the immediate needs of the community but also enhances the overall quality of life for its residents.

“Working with Bennington State Bank and First Bank Kansas has been seamless. Their knowledge of the process and ability to get things done efficiently has been invaluable,” said Jeremy Hurt, lead contact for Salina Destination Development.

Darren Gragg, President and CEO of Bennington State Bank, emphasized the bank’s dedication to supporting community initiatives. “We are excited to partner with Salina Destination Development and the City of Salina on this transformative project. This partnership underscores our commitment to the communities we serve, supporting growth and making a meaningful impact through strategic investments. We exist to serve our communities and are committed to providing the capital necessary to grow these communities,” Gragg stated.

This sentiment was echoed by Brian Schwarz, Senior Vice President and Loan Officer at First Bank Kansas who remarked, “We are thrilled to partner with Magnolia Village and all the community collaborators who have contributed to the realization of this project. Their valuable insights are what make Salina great, showing how we come together as a community to address important needs.”

Phase 1 construction is expected to be completed in early 2026. For more information about the Salina Destination Development project, contact the City of Salina.