MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

April 24, 2013

Bank expands in Muskogee


— American Bank of Oklahoma has begun two projects in Muskogee thanks to the bank’s recent “significant growth,” bank officials said.

Since the end of 2011, the bank has grown from $130 million to $160 million in total assets, said President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Landon.

“And in the Muskogee market alone we’ve grown from $25 million to $40 million in assets in the same period,” Landon said. “And that’s in large part due to the addition of David Jones as the Muskogee president, to give credit where credit’s due.”

One project will create a park area on the west side and the other will expand the east side branch to accommodate a new line of business the bank has acquired.

Next to the bank’s branch on West Broadway and North 33rd Street, the bank purchased two properties — the old Fite Professional Building and a small duplex behind it.

Jones and Landon visited the construction site Wednesday afternoon as the demolition work began and watched as construction workers first tore the old house down, then moved to taking out the faux rock walls of the professional building.

“Our plans, initially, are to put in a big flag, benches, landscaping and make it into a small park,” David Jones said.

On the east side, the bank recently purchased the building it has been leasing since 2009 at 2401 Chandler Road, Jones said.

The four-story building is perfect for the expanded offices the bank needs, he said.

The bank has begun renovations on the first floor, and the second floor will be renovated next, Jones said.

The top two floors are ready to renovate and will be leased for renovate-to-suit office space, he said.

Landon said one of the reasons the bank’s east side branch needs more space is to accommodate a sales office for the bank’s insurance sales division.

“We now own and operate Ameribank Group Benefits LLC, which sells group health and life insurance,” Landon said. “That’s headquartered with the offices in Ramona and Collinsville and a sales office in Muskogee will be added soon.”

American Bank of Oklahoma now has five branches — Collinsville, Skiatook, Ramona and two offices in Muskogee, Landon said.

“Also, we now have 60 full-time employees,” he said. “We opened April, 1, 1998, so this is our 15th year of being in business.”

Landon said the bank hopes to have all the Muskogee projects completed well before the end of the year.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.