Facility expected to open in early 2022 in building located at 1782 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way
The Sarasota City Commission has approved a lease agreement “that will bring much-needed financial resources to Sarasota’s Newtown community,” the City of Sarasota has announced.
Under the terms of the agreement, St. Petersburg-based First Home Bank will lease a city-owned property located at 1782 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, a news release says. “The building formerly housed the Newtown Economic Redevelopment Office, which recently relocated to City Hall. The Sarasota Police Department will continue to operate a sub-station in a portion of the building,” the release adds.
“The new bank will serve as a loan production office and financial resource center, the first of its kind in the Newtown community,” the release points out. “It will provide personal and commercial loans as well as financial education, programs and additional resources to community members and business owners. It will also feature a no-fee ATM, providing customers free access to their funds,” the release adds.
“Establishing a banking facility in Newtown has been a specific goal of this commission and is a key part of the City’s redevelopment efforts,” said City Commissioner Kyle Battie, whose district includes Newtown, in the release. “Providing access to banking and financial services for the unbanked in this underserved community is crucial, and together with our focus on encouraging home ownership and other economic development projects we’re working on, we can truly improve the quality of life in Newtown,” Battie added in the release.
First Home Bank, which was established in 1999, operates six banking centers in the Tampa Bay area, including one in Sarasota, plus an additional 24 loan production offices nationwide, the release points out.
“As a community bank, we have a great opportunity to identify areas in need of resources and ensure residents have access to a trusted financial institution that can give them the tools required to succeed and reinvest in their community,” said Thomas Quale, First Home Bank’s Sarasota market president, in the release. “North Sarasota is known for its history, culture and strong sense of community, and we are proud to invest in the neighborhood, find ways to best support those who call it home, and play a small role in its ongoing rejuvenation,” Quale added in the release.
The bank is on track to open in early 2022, following renovations, and First Home has already begun hiring, the release notes.
To lead its efforts in Newtown, the bank has hired long-time North Sarasota resident and former NFL player Carlos Yancy as business development specialist, the release says. “He previously served as a career developer and facilitator at Manasota Goodwill, where he provided financial counseling and business education while coordinating job placements for clients.”
Yancy also will join the bank’s PEACE Team (Providing Equal Access to Credit Envoy), “a group of residential mortgage experts dedicated to combating inequality and better serving the needs of minority and low-to-moderate income borrowers” in every phase of the home-buying process, the release adds.
“We are excited to have long-time North Sarasota resident Carlos Yancy onboard to oversee outreach in the market,” Quale said in the release. “He has seen firsthand the obstacles these community members face when it comes to banking, and he will play an integral role in our efforts to provide the resources and financial support they need to reach their goals.”