Flagship Bank opened its fifth office Friday, when it cut the ribbon on a branch at 965 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg’s EDGE District.
Flagship, with $352 million in assets as of March 31, has offices in Clearwater, Oldsmar, Tarpon Springs and Largo, and now is expanding for the first time to southern Pinellas County.
It’s a great fit for the city’s Grow Smarter economic development strategy, which focuses on five targeted industries, including financial services, Mayor Rick Kriseman said during the ribbon cutting.
“To have you all here in our city, to join us in what we are trying to bring into the city of St. Petersburg in financial services, makes it a little more special,” Kriseman said. “You could have chosen to be in other places, but you chose to be here in St. Pete and in particular in an area of the city that has really come alive.”
The building previously housed Seacoast Bank, which closed its downtown office last year. Flagship remodeled the interior. The building itself was constructed in 1926, according to the Pinellas County property appraiser, and City Council member Robert Blackmon noted that history.
“This is an old building, an historic building that’s been repurposed. It goes to show that you can have growth and keep things local while protecting the character of St. Pete and what it makes it so special,” Blackmon said.
Bob McGivney, Flagship CEO, stressed the bank’s local ownership and key employees, including John Brenner, Flagship’s senior vice president of commercial lending. Brenner has 40 years of commercial banking experience and will be based out of the St. Petersburg branch
Isabella “Bella” Wood joined Flagship as vice president and market manager. She has over 21 years in banking and has deep roots within the St. Petersburg community.
“All of us have been in community banking for decades and we’re all back together to build that go-to community bank. We don’t have to wait for the loan committee out of state. We’re right here. That’s the difference. We live here, work here and this is our market,” McGivney said.
Flagship is a subsidiary of West Florida Bank Corp., established in 2019.