First Tennessee Bank has new space on Keith Street
by GREG KAYLOR, Banner Staff Writer
Sep 16, 2012 | 1445 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
First Tennessee
CLIENTS CAN prepare for their transactions prior to approaching a teller at the new facility.
view slideshow (9 images)
A change to a more frugal business style was what officials of First Tennessee Financial had in mind when they purchased the former location of Oliver’s Restaurant on Keith Street

The newly refurbished, reclaimed building no longer resembles the popular Italian eatery. Now it is First Tennessee Bank.

“Where customers once ordered pasta, they now apply for loans. Where they once paid checks, they now deposit them.

“Corporate Properties transformed the former Italian restaurant into the new Cleveland Main Office, where the specialty of the house is now “bonefish,’” according to banking officials.

“‘Bonefish’ is a strategy in which a graph of financial metrics in the shape of a fish skeleton is designed to ensure alignment of accountability for corporate performance across all areas of the company.”

Part of the strategy is to maximize efficiency and minimize costs — thus utilizing properties which can be retrofitted for banking services.

The single-story, 7,200-square-foot building was transformed into Cleveland’s home office.

“The new home for our financial center and regional offices reflects corporate properties’ drive to maximize efficiency and minimize costs. That means choosing the right locations, making the best use of square footage and adapting to a changing banking world. The restaurant in Cleveland was in a prime location,” according to Rod Varnell, senior real estate manager with First Tennessee.

“By retrofitting it, we were able to close two other, less-suitable offices, consolidating and downsizing into a more manageable space,” he said.

In addition to a spacious lobby which has sufficient seating for clients, three drive-thru lanes were constructed for driver convenience.

An ATM is also located for anytime banking.

According to Wayne Williams of TWH Architects, “the main challenge was installing a new vault within the existing building without tearing apart the existing structure.”

Williams said the mission was accomplished with “about two inches to spare.”

Workspace inside the new First Tennessee bank includes private office areas as well as walk-up teller windows.

A new modular safe-deposit box system was also installed in the bank.

Accents inside the interior design include stacked stone and other natural elements.

Large photos of the evolution of First Tennessee are displayed in the lobby.

A spacious board room and a smaller conference area were also incorporated into the floor plan.

The new bank building took the place of a multilevel structure and “green” additions are helping save some on utility costs.

“The efficiency drive includes how we outfit and manage the properties. Maintenance can control and monitor temperature remotely to save utility costs. We are painting instead of wallpapering and buying used office furniture (often only slightly used because the original purchaser went bankrupt). We’re landscaping with indigenous, seasonally blooming plants,” noted Varnell.

The parent company, First Horizon National Corp. is one of the 50 largest banking companies in the U.S.