Photo: At the center, holding the scissors, is First Tennessee Bank’s President for the Middle Tennessee Region Carol Yochem. To her immediate left is Williamson Inc. Senior Vice President of Community Relations Nancy Conway. To her left is Brentwood Mayor Jill Burgin.
By LANDON WOODROOF
Local business leaders, elected officials and First Tennessee Bank employees gathered in the new, third-floor offices of First Tennessee Bank in Hill Center Brentwood Tuesday afternoon for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The new office currently holds 85 employees from more than 12 different departments, including commercial real estate, business banking and treasury management, First Tennessee Bank’s President for the Middle Tennessee Region Carol Yochem said.
“With this signature location we are well-situated to provide a more personal experience as the population of Williamson County and all of Middle Tennessee continues to grow,” Yochem said. “At First Tennessee we remain committed to attracting the best employees, investing in our communities and to serving the individuals and businesses that make Middle Tennessee a great place to live and work.”
The move to Hill Center Brentwood is both a consolidation and an expansion of banking services in the region. Yochem said that First Tennessee was looking for a site to bring different departments together “because there’s a lot of synergy that comes from co-locating employees from different departments.” The bank also “wanted a building we could put our name on, that’s not just a branch.”
First Tennessee Bank joins a host of other new businesses in the Hill Center Brentwood development. The amenities offered by the mixed-use complex were one of the reasons First Tennessee chose Hill Center Brentwood for its new office at the end of what was an exhaustive search.
“I think having a location that’s convenient to people’s homes and offering a work experience that they look forward to, which can include amenities close by, is something that helps attract and retain employees,” Yochem said. “Happy employees equal happy customers.”
Overall, First Tennessee Bank has about 500 employees in the Middle Tennessee region, Yochem said. The Hill Center Brentwood office joins the bank’s Nashville headquarters as one of the largest concentrations of employees in the area.
The move comes in the midst of what Yochem described as a period of rapid growth for First Tennessee.
“We are growing throughout all of Middle Tennessee,” she said. “We had a record year in 2016, and we are expecting to have another record year in 2017.”
First Tennessee Bank actually started moving into the new office back in June. Its opening marks one of the final stages of Hill Center Brentwood’s first phase of development.
“We’ve got a couple of tenants that are still doing their fit-out, but other than that this phase is pretty much complete,” Jimmy Granbery, the chairman and CEO of the H.G. Hill Realty Company, LLC, said at the ribbon-cutting.
The tenants still to open include fast-casual salad restaurant Chopt and Element Salon. Granbery said negotiations were underway with a potential tenant for the former Ruby Tuesday building at the other end of the Hill Center Brentwood development, but that a formal announcement had yet to be made.
Granbery said the second phase of the complex’s development was forthcoming and would feature roughly 350,000 square feet of new office and retail space. Phase one has totaled around 250,000 square feet.
As for First Tennessee’s move to Hill Center Brentwood, Granbery thinks the bank is a great fit for the development.
“It’s just wonderful,” he said.
According to a news release, “First Tennessee Bank is the largest bank headquartered in Tennessee … founded during the Civil War in 1864 and has the 14th oldest national bank charter in the country.”