When it comes to commercial lending, how far can
a community bank go? Further than you might think.
David Treppendahl, St. Francisville resident, developer and senior member of the Multi-Family Division of NAI/Latter & Blum Commercial Real Estate, is no stranger to business finance. With experience acquiring and improving properties and making them profitable, Treppendahl works daily with lenders to help keep the wheels of business turning. His favorite lender? His local one: Bank of St. Francisville (BSF).
A lender, and a partner, too
When Treppendahl came across Kenilworth Ridge in Baton Rouge, a dated 74-unit apartment complex off of Burbank Drive and in need of extensive renovation, he saw immediately what it could be—a good investment. He just needed to find a lender that he could convince of the same thing. “It’s a matter of finding a bank that can see your plan and believe in it,” he says. “It was the initial loan that was important. I probably could have gotten that with most banks and probably on favorable terms, too.” So why did he choose Bank of St. Francisville? “The thing about the bank is everybody is so accessible,” Treppendahl says. “You can pick up the phone and call the president anytime and he’ll take your call. You can’t do that with big banks and it’s not just the top executives but the people they’ve hired. They’re very confident and capable and can-do attitude people. It’s really a very professional group of people. They get things done.”
Treppendahl secured an initial loan from BSF to purchase the complex, but with the property stabilized and revenue coming in, he hit the capital markets looking for permanent financing, assuming that he would have to turn to a large-scale institutional lender to get the lowest rates. But BSF liked Treppendahl and his project, and wanted to continue the relationship with both. “They said, ‘Tell us what terms you need and we’ll see if we can match it,’ he said. Bank of St. Francisville went to bat against the big banks, and won. “BSF was involved in the search, acquisition, and complete renovation of Kenilworth Ridge,” notes Tab Ballard, Vice President of Commercial Lending. “Seeing the project from beginning to end, while working closely with David, we formed a great team and really got to know one another. When it came time for permanent financing, it was a no brainer for us to be creative to continue our partnership.”
Movers and shakers need mobile
So why would a developer who lives in St. Francisville, yet does all of his work in Baton Rouge, still bank in St. Francisville? Perhaps better to ask: Why not? “Working with them is easy,” Treppendahl says. “Bank of St. Francisville doesn’t have branches in Baton Rouge but it doesn’t matter. You can do everything online and via mobile. My property managers never have to go to the bank. They can do everything right from their office.” You can, too. Virtually any personal and commercial banking transaction—from account transfers to bill payment to remote deposit capture, can be processed using Bank of St. Francisville’s Online and Mobile banking services. Customers can also:
• Sign up to receive account alerts and e-statements
• View past statements
• Transfer money between accounts and to other banks
• View images of deposited checks
• Access services like Bill Pay and People Pay right from their smartphones
“I’ve been able to really meet my financial goals because of the bank’s flexibility,” Treppendahl says. One example: when the Kenilworth Ridge project approached the limit he could borrow through the Bank of St. Francisville, he approached another lender—purely a business decision. But then … “Before we closed the deal [the other lender] changed the terms on me,” Treppendahl says. “So I came back to BSF and, what do they do? They get other banks to come in! Although they couldn’t loan me my entire need themselves, they went out and got me the money and agreed to service the loan. And they were able to do it all at a lower interest rate than the other bank could offer.” Banks working together? “Sure,” says president Carter Leak III, if you have the relationships. “We are able to depend on our relationships with a strong network of community banks that are willing to support us and allow us to serve our customers while we do the same for them.”
A bank, and a backbone
Treppendahl moved his family—his wife and four kids—from Baton Rouge to St. Francisville in 2002 and hasn’t looked back. Now, he can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. “There’s not many people here but the people that are here really get along and work together,” he says. “It’s a community of people who really care about their community. I think it’s that sense of community that I love and my family loves. We drug our children here kicking and screaming but within six months of being here they said, ‘We’re glad we made the move.’”