The City Council has signed off, and construction is set to begin at First Interstate Bank’s new branch office on South Haynes Avenue in Miles City.
The 7,000-square-foot, single-story structure will replace the existing branch at 1115 Main St. that the bank has called home for the past 30 years.
Branch President Jeff Rodenbaugh said an attractive building is planned, with dark brick and light stone construction; an airy, glass atrium; and extensive landscaping.
Rodenbaugh said the bank, which is based in Billings with branches in Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming, had reservations about leaving its prime Main Street location.
“We explored all of the options of remodeling the current facility. We love the curb appeal of this location,” Rodenbaugh said Monday. “We just don’t have room to modernize.”
The current 5,500-square-foot branch is cramped both inside and out, with desks in the middle of the floor, insufficient room for trailer parking to serve ag customers, and meeting rooms in the basement.
“We need the space, and we were limited in what we could do to expand,” Rodenbaugh said.
He said the new location will allow for pull-through parking for trailers; an outside, drive-up ATM, and a trio of drive-through lanes that are 10 feet wide, 25 percent wider than the bank’s three current drive-through lanes.
Unlike the existing location, the new branch will also be handicapped accessible and in compliance with the federal Americans With Disabilities Act.
It’s also in a choice location in a busy commercial district.
“Our new location allows us to remain centrally located, along with the opportunity for better visibility, convenience and access for our customers,” Rodenbaugh said.
Construction could begin as soon as next week. The bank is waiting for the city to pave Dickinson Avenue, which will provide access to the bank and nearby properties.
Jackson Contractor Group of Miles City will begin laying the foundation as soon as the paving project is completed, and the building should be ready for occupancy sometime in April, weather permitting.
The bank employs 17 full-time workers, and serves a growing clientele, Rodenbaugh said.