F&M Buys New Space In Timberville

Farmers & Merchants Bank has purchased the former Carilion Family Medicine building at 165 New Market Road and plans to move its in town retail banking operations to that location.

By VIC BRADSHAW

Daily News-Record

HARRISONBURG — F&M Corp. has completed the first step of its Timberville shuffle.

Farmers & Merchants Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company, has purchased the former Carilion Family Medicine building at 165 New Market Road and plans to move its in town retail banking operations to that location. It paid Longhorn Investments LC $390,000 for the property.

That move will open up space at 205 S. Main St. — now doubling as the Timberville branch and F&M Corp.’s offices — to expand its headquarters. Neil Hayslett, F&M’s chief administrative officer, said the corporate staff includes 42 people.

In addition to freeing space for corporate offices, Hayslett said, moving just across New Market Road, which is Va. 211, from the Wal-Mart Supercenter has other advantages.

“With Wal-Mart soon to open, we felt that being on 211 would give us greater visibility, greater traffic counts than we see here in this location,” he said in a phone interview. “We have a fairly large number of customers in the New Market area, many whom I assume shop at Wal-Mart, so this will be more convenient for them than the current location and no less convenient for customers who are used to coming to the current location.”

The former medical clinic building is 4,200 square feet, but Hayslett said the bank won’t need that much space. A roughly 200-square-foot section of the structure will be demolished. A drive-thru will be added, and the mansard roof will be removed and replaced with a gable roof.

The bank uses about 4,000 square feet at the Main Street site, about 20 percent of the total space there.

The clinic renovation involves gutting the building to make it functional for a bank, which he estimated would take at least six months and cost about $600,000.

Twelve or 13 retail banking staff members will move to the new location from Main Street. Hayslett said no new positions would be added, but the branch should operate more efficiently because the lobby and drive-thru teller areas are now separate but won’t be after the move.

Once the new location opens, he said six private offices in the banking area will be available for corporate staff, so there won’t be an “urgent” need to remodel that space. Staff additions aren’t anticipated initially at the headquarters, but needs should change over time.

“We’ll most likely move some people in this building around,” Hayslett said. “Some of the departments are not the most efficient — everybody’s not together that should be.”

All the space in the Main Street building is in use, he said. About 18 months ago, the roof on one side was raised so storage space could be turned into offices for three people.

Contact Vic Bradshaw at 574-6279 or vbradshaw@dnronline.com

Farmers & Merchants Bank will be moving its Timberville branch to a vacant building at 165 New Market Road.

Daniel Lin / DN-R