Salina Bank Renovating, Expanding

A bank located in downtown Salina is planning a renovation and expansion.

According to First Bank Kansas, centered in the heart of downtown Salina, First Bank Kansas and Advantage Trust Company announce an expansion and renovation to their Santa Fe locations. Construction improvements within the surrounding blocks over recent years have brought new life to the historic downtown district. In alignment with the vision for Salina’s growth, First Bank Kansas and Advantage Trust Company have chosen to inject renewed energy into their prime locations.

Joining the downtown feel

The Downtown Salina location has been the headquarters of First Bank Kansas since 1961 and, needless to say, a lot has changed. Downtowns used to be primary business centers for local communities where all your business needs and shopping were within walking distance. You rarely needed to leave downtown. Over the years, many of these services have migrated away into other parts of the city. First Bank Kansas would like to see these patterns reversed.

“We are committed to Salina and the region,” said Kent Buer, President, and CEO of First Bank Kansas. “Downtown is the heart of Salina, and we are proud to be a part of the impressive changes that continue to take place which solidify Salina as a major trade center and destination.”

Continued growth

First Bank Kansas and Advantage Trust Company have both experienced tremendous growth over the years, which bank leadership has attributed to being about the people. “We are relationship focused,” said Buer. “This focus not only applies to our customers that trust us with their finances, but also with our staff. Everyone has a choice on where they bank or where they work. We are committed to delivering an exceptional experience, both internally and externally.”

In response to this growth and success, both organizations need to expand. “We have spent the past decade knowing the need for expansion was coming,” said Andrew Manley, Chief Financial Officer of First Bank Kansas, who is also overseeing the construction projects. “We could not continue to provide exceptional experience, both internally and externally, under our current footprint. Properties across Salina were considered, but we kept coming back to downtown. We didn’t want to leave downtown.”

In 2020, First Bank Kansas acquired 217 S Santa Fe Ave, a structure that was previously used by Salina Regional Health Center. “This location was ideal as it was the perfect location at the perfect time,” Manley says. This location is currently under renovation and will be utilized as First Bank Kansas’ Operations Center. The expansion and remodeling projects will allow the bank to elevate experiences for both its customers and employees.

Proven success

In 2021, First Bank Kansas was recognized by Forbes as America’s Best-In-State Banks, ranking number one in Kansas.  Not only was First Bank Kansas the top scoring bank in Kansas, but it was the top-scoring bank in America.

“Our team embraces our culture and continually strives to deliver exceptional experiences to our customers and to each other,” Buer stated.  “We are heavily involved in our communities and work to enhance the quality of life in this region. We are extremely thankful for our loyal customers who appreciate our personalized style of doing business and see us as friends and trusted advisors.”

Expanding trust

At the same time, Advantage Trust Company was seeing similar success and growth as well.  Celebrating 25 years of business this year, Advantage Trust Company provides an array of trust and financial services for the region.

“Advantage Trust Company is humbled and thankful for our many supporters and loyal clients,” said Brian Boyer, President, and CEO of Advantage Trust Company.  “We strive to deliver a highly personalized level of service; one our clients deserve and have grown to expect. In order to maintain this level of service, we simply needed to expand.”

Looking to the future

The renovation and expansion at both organizations is currently underway and is expected to be completed in 2023. In a world of digital services and mega-banks, First Bank Kansas and Advantage Trust Company are headed down a different path.

“We believe in people. We believe in a personalized level of service that happens in person. It is unfortunate to see where our industry, or any industry for that matter, is headed.  Mega-banks have all but pulled out of smaller communities and only see value in larger markets, like Kansas City or Wichita, relying only on their digital presence and overseas call-centers. It is frankly sad,” said Manley. “First Bank Kansas knows our customers want to work with someone they know and trust. This project solidifies our intention to deliver an exceptional experience in an environment our customers expect for years to come.”