Instituted more than 120 years ago, Merchants & Marine Bank has boasted more than 15 locations throughout Mississippi and Alabama – but until recently, Hattiesburg had only one temporary location, located on Mayfair Road.
That changed on August 12, with an official groundbreaking for an upcoming permanent location at 4607 Hardy Street, located next to Scrubs N More at the site of a former convenience store.
“We’re very excited; we can’t wait,” said Grant Walker, Pine Belt market president for Merchants & Marine Bank. “We’ve been active in Hattiesburg (for about two years), and we’ve currently got a full-service office at the (temporary) space.
“This is going to give us more room, going to give us drive-through service, and it looks more like a bank. People are still kind of perplexed when they walk in our existing spot.”
Since September 2020, the bank has operated out of the temporary spot in the Millbranch Office Park, off Mayfair Road. Once the Hardy Street location is complete, which is expected to be some time next summer, employees will relocate there from the temporary spot.
“It was really our objective all along to have a permanent home in Hattiesburg,” Walker said. “It just took us a minute to find a spot.
“We certainly looked at different things and we had to select a contractor, so all that ends up talking a little bit longer.”
Construction is being conducted by Mac’s Construction Company of Hattiesburg.
“We sought bids, and they won the bid,” Walker said. “I think they probably plan to start within the next couple of weeks, and it’ll take roughly a year.
“So hopefully, we’ll be able to be in there by the end of August next year.”
The new location will offer a full-service branch, with a staff of lenders and the aforementioned drive-through function.
“We’ll have walk-in and drive-through tellers, and a full staff to open and take care of accounts – deposit accounts,” Walker said. “There will be seven to 10 employees, would be our plan initially.
“And then we’re also having some community workspace. We have an active internship program, and it seems like today, when we’re headquartered in Pascagoula, it’s common for folks to come to Hattiesburg. Hattiesburg is a good, easy, midway location for lots of things, and so we’re going to have some available office space for our folks to come in the office to kind of work temporarily, that are not permanently officed here.”
Merchants & Marine Bank was officially established in 1899. In late December 1931, while the United States was mired in the Great Depression, official recapitalized the bank and put its money back into the organization.
The bank offers personal banking, business banking, digital and mobile banking, personal loans, business loans, CDs and IRAs, and financial advisors.
“We’re just a full-service, community bank,” Walker said. “We’ve got a very capable commercial lending team, and I would say if there’s a specialty, it would be catering to small, to mid-size, to larger-sized businesses in Hattiesburg.
“But we certainly also offer personal and individual accounts, consumer loans, and all those sorts of things – kind of the traditional bank services.”