Fidelity Bank to close downtown Rockingham office

 New branch to be at site of former Rockingham Fish Camp

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ROCKINGHAM — Fidelity Bank will close its downtown Rockingham branch in Spring 2015 and reopen in a newly constructed office at the site of the former Rockingham Fish Camp.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Fidelity Bank will close its downtown Rockingham office in Spring 2015 and will reopen in the newly constructed branch office at 532 E. Broad Ave., site of the former Rockingham Fish Camp.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Fidelity Bank will close its downtown Rockingham office in Spring 2015 and will reopen in the newly constructed branch office at 532 E. Broad Ave., site of the former Rockingham Fish Camp.

Wiley Mabe, senior vice president and area supervisor for Fidelity Bank, told The Pee Dee Post on Tuesday that the bank has outgrown its existing space.

“I love this office,” said Mabe, who lamented the lack of an elevator to serve handicapped customers and a lack of parking and convenient access at the 202 E. Washington St. location. “I like being up here” on the second floor with a view of the city from his corner office and an expansive conference room.

The situation, however, is not conducive to a professional environment when customers who are unable to navigate the two sets of stairs to his office.

“There’s no way to service them” conveniently, Mabe said.

Mabe noted that all current employees will be transferred to the new location. In addition, there is a likelihood of adding a few positions at the new location to help meet customer demand.

Mabe said bids are now out to construct a new, single-story branch office at 532 E. Broad Ave. There, customers will have multiple entry and exit points and four drive-through lanes.

The bank expects to break ground on the new location in July.

The current downtown location was first occupied by First Union Bank and built in the early 1970s. Fidelity Bank was originally at what is now Bennett Deane’s State Farm Insurance Agency Office. The lease at 202 E. Washington St. ends in August 2015, Mabe said.

It wasn’t cost-effective to install an elevator in the existing building. Plus, Mabe said, that would not at all address safety and convenience issues facing motorists seeking Fidelity Bank.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Fidelity Bank's downtown Rockingham location will close in Spring 2015 when construction of its new office on East Broad Avenue is completed.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Fidelity Bank’s downtown Rockingham location will close in Spring 2015 when construction of its new office on East Broad Avenue is completed.

“It’s a nice building,” Mabe said. “We have enjoyed it (but) there’s only one way onto this property” via Hancock Street.

Plus, “we’ve just outgrown this unit” and the location is “very hard for people to find,” Mabe said.

Construction of the new building, designed by Ron Cox Architecture of Raleigh, is set to begin in July. Mabe said the project is on a nine-month timeline.

Mabe, who’s preparing for his retirement in the not-too-distant future, said he recently hired Patrick Chappell to be his successor. Fidelity Bank has three branches in Richmond County, including one each in Ellerbe and Hamlet.

Filed in: Business, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News

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