By JACK WEATHERLY
Regions Bank announced Monday that it will build a 75,000-square-foot operations center in Hattiesburg at a cost of $23 million and add 90 jobs.
The facility will accommodate employees now working in three locations in downtown Hattiesburg, the bank said in a news release.
Birmingham-based Regions Financial Corp. is by far the largest bank operating in Mississippi, with $125 billion in assets as of Dec. 31. It has 1,700 locations in 16 states, including 137 branches in Mississippi.
Regions employs more than 320 in the Hattiesburg area. The new facility, to be built at the intersection of Lamar Boulevard and Lincoln Road in west Hattiesburg, will accommodate 420.
“I commend the Area Development Partnership, Regions and the city of Hattiesburg for the work they have put forth to ensure this expansion,” Fourth District U.S. Rep. Steve Palazzo said in the release.
The state of Mississippi is providing $1 million for site preparation., according to the Associated Press. Hattiesburg will repair and repave a road leading to the site and contribute $167,000 for water and sewer improvements, the AP said, adding that the city and Lamar County are providing property tax abatements for 10 years, which has an estimated value of $3 million, according to Mississippi Development Authority.
The three downtown buildings – in the Kress Building, on Front Street and at Forrest Towers – have been sold but will be leased by Regions until the facility is built, construction of which may start as soon as the fourth quarter, the bank said.
The new location will house operations of Regions Mortgage unit, which services residential mortgages across the Southeast, Texas, the Midwest and elsewhere, according to the bank.