First United Bank customers will soon be greeted by major construction at the banks location on East Taylor Street in Sherman. The bank is planning to tear down is existing location and construct an entirely new building at the site, but it will have a temporary structure adjacent to the property while that is going on.
The Sherman Planning & Zoning Commission recently approved a site plan for the new two-story bank building.
“The current plan is to take down the existing building at 401 Taylor Street,” architect Taylor Coleman said. “The large site plan shows multiple locations — to the east of the lot there’s a smaller parking area. So the plan is to develop that smaller lot and put temporary structures on that for use while we’re taking down and rebuilding the current structure.”
Information provided to the commission states the new facility will be approximately 35,000 square feet and will be built with exposed heavy timber beams and columns, as well as a pitched metal roof and cut limestone.
“It’s going to be a two-story financial institution,” Coleman said. “The first floor will include retail banking and corporate banking. The second floor will include offices that are used by the bank employees and headquarters (space). There’s going to be a community space, there’s lots of conference rooms, there’s a break room — it’s going to be a regular office building.”
The commission’s board of adjustment also approved an exception to allow the building to have wood siding and timber beams and columns instead of the normally required masonry. Commission Chairman Clay Mahone pointed out that the plans made it appears the building would be using wood as accents, and Coleman confirmed that to be correct.
“There’s a lot of glass there,” Coleman said. “There’s a lot of just natural daylight in the facility. They’re going to have a lot of open office kind of concepts.”
Parking at the new facility will offer 144 spaces and the mobile banking driveway will have vehicles entering the property from the south.
“The headlights will face north,” civil engineer Austin Hahn of CaliChi Design Group said. “We actually constructed a landscaping area to try to block the headlights, so that vehicles that are coming south down Independence aren’t looking into headlights that are leaving.”
After reviewing the plans for the new facility, commission member Shawn Davis remarked that Coleman and Hahn would have “a lot of banks to change in Sherman,” but Coleman said they are just starting with this one rebuild.
Before the commission and board took votes on the requests, which were both approved unanimously subject to the staff review letter, Hahn addressed some concerns he had with a couple of items on the letter from city staff.
“In general, all of the items you’ve addressed, we feel very comfortable with,” he said before noting he expects to return to request a shorter setback for the bank’s monument sign than the 25 feet required by city ordinance.
“The staff review letter is actually just quoting the ordinance,” Director of Development Services Scott Shadden said. “Just making you aware of it. They (the commission) can’t address them (your concerns) tonight if they’re not on the agenda.”
City Attorney Brandon Shelby confirmed that the commission’s approval being subject to the staff review letter didn’t preclude First United Bank officials from coming back later to request exceptions to ordinances stated in it.
Hahn also noted his clients would be interested in paying a fee to the city rather than providing on site detention for water runoff, which was another item noted in the staff review letter.
“All that is determined once we see their civil submittal,” Director of Engineering Clint Philpott said. “We haven’t received their full design plans. We put that (on site detention requirement) on any project of this size. They’ve got to prove to us that they don’t need detention or have the ability to send it somewhere else.”
The site plan will next have to be approved by the Sherman City Council next month.