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CertusBank Announces Expansion Plans at ONE Groundbreaking

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GREENVILLE, SC - September 23, 2011 - CertusBank℠ N.A., a nationally chartered bank that is a subsidiary of Blue Ridge Holdings Inc., today revealed several plans for expansion as it co-hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for ONE, the new mixed-use complex that will house 350 bank employees at the corner of Main and Washington streets in downtown Greenville.

The company said it has acquired Sage Southeastern Securities of Atlanta, adding investment brokerage capabilities to its comprehensive wealth management platform.  CertusBank officials also disclosed plans to begin opening additional branches in the Upstate within the next four months, and announced the company will occupy an additional 100,000 square feet of office space in a second tower at ONE, which the developer says will begin coming out of the ground ahead of schedule.

Hughes Development says work will begin on the second phase of ONE, an 11-story, 200,000-square-foot tower, by the middle of next year, with completion expected sometime in 2013.  CertusBank will occupy half of that building along with 20,000 square feet of office space and a 6,000-square-foot bank branch in phase one, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. 

CertusBank executives, along with representatives from Hughes Development and future tenant Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, joined South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt, Greenville County Council Chairman Butch Kirven and Greenville Mayor Knox White for the afternoon ceremony, which marked the official beginning of construction.  The first phase of the project, a 185,000-square-foot, nine-story building with a street-level retail adjacent to the city's Piazza Bergamo, will be home to a variety of office and retail tenants including Anthropologie, a popular chain of stores featuring women's apparel and accessories, home furnishings and a variety of other unique items.  

"We are very excited to begin construction here at ONE, which we believe will become one of the most desirable locations for business and shopping in the Carolinas," said Hughes Development President Bob Hughes.  "And we're equally excited to be a part of the success and growth of CertusBank, a company that's well on its way to becoming one of the Upstate's most respected corporate citizens."

CertusBank is a full-service financial institution that operates 32 branches in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.  The company currently has 60 headquarters teammates working in 16,000 square feet of office space in the Field House at West End adjacent to Fluor Field, with plans to accommodate an additional 65 teammates in 16,000 square feet of space at downtown's RiverPlace beginning Oct. 1.  These teammates will be among the first to move into ONE when the space is completed. 

"Our growth has outpaced even our own ambitious expectations, and we're especially proud of the team we're building and the relationships we're establishing here in Greenville," said CertusBank Senior Executive Vice President Angela Webb.  "We're excited to announce plans for more branches throughout the Upstate."

CertusBank recently acquired Sage, an Atlanta based broker-dealer and an SEC-registered investment-advisory firm.  Pending regulatory approval, the acquisition enhances the bank's wealth management portfolio by allowing it to offer a full range of financial advisory services.  

"Adding an established broker-dealer to CertusBank's portfolio will enhance our ability to put our prudent, reliable banking practices and solid financial strength to work for customers throughout the Southeast," said CertusBank Vice Chairman Walter Davis.
 


CertusBank is building a strong, sustainable, best-in-class banking franchise focused on exceptional customer service.  The company has the management know-how and long-term capital support to be a leader in providing financial products and services.  Additionally CertusBank seeks to drive economic growth and stability in the markets served by the company.