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Expanding vision

Most of the time, expansion works one way: a successful business in a larger city expands into smaller, surrounding towns.

But Demopolis-based Robertson Banking Company is turning that business model on its head.

Right now, the bank has a loan production office at 23rd St. in Tuscaloosa. Since opening in March, the company has done more than $20 million in business, But the company is taking advantage of a building at 1400 Greensboro Ave. in Tuscaloosa.

Soon renovations will begin — and soon the site will be a full-fledged branch bank.

“That’s sort of how you get your foot in the door,” said company president and CEO Al Garrett.

And that’s not the final step. Eventually, there will be three branches in Tuscaloosa.

“We do have three planned, but they’re not going to go up one right after the other,” Garrett said. “We want to make sound business decisions for our company.

Robertson Banking Company has long had its roots in Marengo County. Founded in 1870, the bank is linked historically to this Black Belt county.

The new branch will open in December, according to published reports.

Henderson said the existing building on Greensboro Ave. will require extensive renovations to accommodate a bank. Currently, it is a former H&R Block tax service office. The changes will include the installation of a two-lane drive-through and an ATM for customer convenience. But Henderson said the new bank will open much faster than if a new building had to be built from scratch.

The bank office in Tuscaloosa will continue to maintain its focus on commercial accounts while the first Tuscaloosa building is being fitted, published reports state.