Following 2019 downtown Denison fire, Independent Financial opens new US 75 location

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Independent Financial will be opening its new location at 900 S. U.S. Highway 75 on Monday. The new site will replace its Main Street branch, which was damaged during the downtown fires of 2019.

One of the Denison businesses damaged during the downtown fire in 2019 will soon relocate to a new permanent home along U.S. Highway 75. Independent Financial, formerly known as Independent Bank, announced that is new facility, located at 900 S. U.S. Highway 75, will officially open for business on Monday.

The fire in early October 2019 fire destroyed three downtown buildings in a blaze that took more than 12 hours to fight. Denison Fire Rescue officials later attributed the fire to a faulty appliance in one of the businesses.

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Ultimately three buildings, which included a nail salon, a shared work space and multiple lofts, were destroyed in the fire. While the bank building was not destroyed, representatives for the bank said it did sustain internal smoke and water damage that led to the decision to relocate.

“We are excited about being able to offer our customers the convenience of a brand new, full-service banking center in its new home,” Independent Financial Regional President Scott Bandemir said . “Although we were able to resume operations in a temporary structure, this new facility will enable us to offer a new permanent financial center and provide customers with convenient access to a modern facility for both in-branch or drive-through transactions."

A ladder truck works to contain the fire in the 300 block of W. Main Street in Denison on Oct. 9, 2019.

Following the fire, the bank opened a temporary office behind the existing building in January 2020. These offices and services are scheduled to close permanently at end of day on Jan. 7 in anticipation of the move.

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While the building's role as a bank may be coming to an end, it could soon take on a new life with a different use, city officials said.

Denison Development Alliance President Tony said the building has been used as a bank since he came to Denison about 20 years ago. With the bank leaving the site, the space will be ripe for redevelopment by a new developer.

While he could not give details, Kaai said several developers have expressed interest in the space, with one standing out as a front runner. An announcement on the future of the space should come within the next 45 days.

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